Racine County Eye 2021 Local News Fund

RACINE, WI — The family of Ty’rese West, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by a Mount Pleasant police officer in June, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming the officer used excessive force and violated his constitutional rights.

Chicago-based Action Injury Law Group is representing West’s family in the case. Mount Pleasant Police officer Eric Giese and the Village of Mount Pleasant have been named as the defendants in the suit.

News of the lawsuit comes months after Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson ruled that Giese would not face charges West’s shooting death.

The Racine Police Department handled the investigation with assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation and the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson’s written decision was released to the public exactly 90 days after the incident.

“Sergeant Giese was trained and tried to use less-lethal force, that did not work. Sergeant Giese was trained to disengage if possible and seek cover, that was not possible. Ultimately, the use of lethal force was the only alternative he had left to exercise,” Hanson wrote in her decision. “These are factors that I cannot ignore when evaluating Sergeant Giese’s response. For these reasons, no charges will be filed against Sergeant Giese in this case.”

According to Mount Pleasant police, officers responded to the 2500 block of Racine Street for an unspecified incident just after 1:30 a.m. on June 15. According to information released by the Racine Police Department, Officer Eric Giese attempted to make contact with West over an unspecified incident.

At the time, authorities said West fled on a bicycle, but that the responding officer saw that West had been armed. Police did not say at the time what West was armed with, or what he did with the weapon police say he had.

Police said the incident escalated and that Giese was “forced to discharge” his firearm at West. Life-saving measures were rendered, however, they were not successful, police said. West died at the scene and the Racine County Medical Examiner was called to the area later that morning.

It wasn’t until seven days after the shooting that authorities identified the Mount Pleasant police officer involved in the shooting as Giese, a 12-year veteran of the Village of Mount Pleasant Police Department.

Racine police said a handgun was recovered from the scene after West. Giese was placed on administrative leave after the shooting, per policy, a news release from the Racine Police Department stated.

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