No charges in fatal Vermilion County shooting

DANVILLE - Vermilion County State's Attorney Randy Brinegar will not be filing charges in connection with a fatal shooting of a man by a Vermilion County sheriff's deputy in November.

Brinegar announced in a news release this morning that after a thorough review of the Illinois State Police investigation into the Nov. 27 shooting of Michael Brandel, he has decided that the deputies acted "properly and in accordance with their training when dealing with a life threatening situation."

Vermilion County sheriff's deputies were called to Mr. Brandel's residence in the Home Gardens neighborhood, south of the Danville city limits, the night of Nov. 27 by Mr. Brandel's landlord, who reported that Mr. Brandel was acting strangely and tearing up the inside of the residence, according to the news release.

The deputies went inside to arrest Mr. Brandel, according to the release, but he could not be subdued by Tasers. He tried to stab the officers with a piece of wood and one of the officers shot him.

The Illinois State Police handled the investigation into the incident and turned over its report to Brinegar's office in January.

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sameeker wrote on April 27, 2011 at 5:04 am

The story in the commercial news is more detailed. It sounds to me like the prosecutor is just looking for ways to clear the cop. He says that the piece of wood that the guy "could have" caused a fatal injury. Well, tazing the guy could have caused a heart attack. The cops did not even know or care if the guy had mental issues. From the sounds of it, he did. Apparently they were responding to a report that he had damaged his own property. There were no other people in danger, so they did not have to go in like jack booted thugs. Of course, I never expected any charges. That is just for the poor people. I have witnessed and been the victim of "stop and frisk" tactics before. The police need to be reigned in. We are becoming a totalitarian state and the people need to rise up. If a person even touches a cop, either in self defense or out of reflex, they face prison time. since cops are in authority, they should face double punishment and be held to much higher standards.

concerned1 wrote on April 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm

This is what I thought would happen. Brinegar has had this report since January and has been sitting on it. The officers didn't follow protocal, and cruppenink was the only one to draw a gun. Some officers say that pepper spray or tazers should have been used in this situation. I thought that was why officers carried tazers so they wouldn't have to shoot people so often - And shooting ths guy THREE times? Why did they kill him and not just maime him by backing up a little and shooting him in the arm or shoulder? Sounds like excessive force to me.
And another thought - why wasn't this officer put on the desk until this investigation was over? Why was he still allowed to be on patrol?
This officer has had other problems. He lost a case in 2003 because of the way he treated a person and currently has another lawsuit against him now that will go to trail soon. I think this is one way for Brinegar to try to lessen the impact to that case. Also I hope that the wife of Michael Brandel sues cruppenink and the county. The people of Vermilion County need to come together to stop certain police officers from treating the public badly.

sassyone wrote on April 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Maybe you should educate yourself before you speak about something. The subject WAS tazed 3 times, and it didn't work. Deputy Cruppenink was with 2 newer officers at the scene, and he did exactly what he was supposed to do. So lets shoot this man to hurt him but not to kill him and give him the chance to come at an officer and harm him? Why would he have to be put on a desk? It was clear cut that he followed his training and did what he was supposed to do. The other case he has pending will also be a loss for the opposing party. When an officer tells you to leave a crime scene you do it. You don't ask questions and say you have the right to be there. And Michael Brandel's wife divorced him so I'm pretty sure she has nothing to say. Learn your facts before you speak. And the intelligent people of Vermilion County appreciate the hard jobs these officers do everyday.