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Michigan Father Killed in Marijuana Child Removal Incident

A prosecutor in northern Michigan has cleared the police officer who shot and killed a Grayling man as police and Child Protective Services (CPS) employees attempted to seize his three-year-old. The attempted removal of the minor child came after a police officer who came to the scene on a call earlier that same day reported that he smelled marijuana and reported the incident to CPS authorities, who decided the child needed to be removed. The dead man, William Reddie, 32, becomes the 17th person killed in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
William Reddie
[Editor's Note: This case illustrates the difficulties that arise in determining which deaths qualify as being a direct result of drug law enforcement. Police here were enforcing child protections laws, not drug laws, but the only reason CPS was called in was because of the allegation of marijuana use. There was no allegation of crazed behavior due to marijuana use; only the allegation of use. For Michigan CPS authorities, that was enough to remove the child. Bottom line: This guy died because the state tried to take his kid because he was accused of smoking pot, so he merits inclusion. That doesn't mean his own actions didn't contribute to his death.]

Reddie's killing took place on February 3, but we only became aware of it when news broke this week that prosecutors had decided that the police officer's use of deadly force in the incident was justified.

According to the Crawford County Avalanche, Grayling police Officer Alan Somero was called to Reddie's apartment for an alleged domestic disturbance. Somero made no arrests, but believed he smelled marijuana and reported it to CPS. Two CPS employees went to Reddie's apartment to check on the situation. They then got a court order to remove Reddie's 3-year-old son, Cameron, and asked police to escort them to the apartment to serve the court order.

The Gaylord Herald-Times, which obtained the CPS removal order, added more detail. It reported that Reddie had been accused of smoking marijuana in front of his son, and that Reddie had become "agitated" and threatened police when confronted by that accusation earlier in the day.

The court order gave the following reason for removing the child: "There are reasonable grounds for this court to remove the child(ren) from the parent... because conditions or surroundings of the child(ren), and is contrary to the welfare of the child(ren) to remain in the home because: It is alleged that the father used marijuana in the home in the presence of the child. In addition, there is concern for the safety of the child due to a domestic disturbance and threats made toward law enforcement by the father."

Returning to the Avalanche's narrative, when police and CPS workers arrived to seize the child, Reddie then reportedly displayed a pocketknife and lunged at them. Crawford County Deputy John Klepadlo shot and killed him. Police had been deploying Tasers, but holstered them and grabbed their guns when Reddie displayed the knife.

Crawford County Sheriff Kirk Wakefield then asked the Michigan State Police to investigate his deputy's use of deadly force. The Michigan Attorney General's Office referred the case to the neighboring Roscommon County Prosecutor's Office. After receiving a report from the State Police, Roscommon County DA Mark Jernigan determined that the use of deadly force was justified and that Klepadlo would not be charged with any crime.

"The deceased was in possession of an edged weapon," Jernigan said. "The deceased pulled a knife and hid it behind his back. At the point where he pulls his hand forward and lunges at the officer, he is in such close proximity, and presents a clear danger of deadly force, the officer is left with no option other than to use deadly force to protect himself, the other officer and the three civilians that were present. The use of deadly force is completely justified and therefore, the homicide was justified."

Toxicology reports, which were included in the final investigation, showed there was no marijuana or alcohol in Reddie's system when he was killed.

Reddie had been seeking permanent custody of his son and was due in court for a hearing on that matter three days after he was killed.

"They took the only thing he ever loved," Reddie's mother, Michelle VanBuren, told the Avalanche after the prosecutor's announcement.

VanBuren said she was baffled by the conduct of authorities, especially since no evidence or alcohol or marijuana use was found. She said she had been in contact with her son throughout that day.

"I was on the phone with my son all day, and that cop was bullying him and harassing him so badly," she said. "Where was protect and serve?" VanBuren asked. "The officers always have to stick together and for them to do this is just totally uncalled for."

VanBuren said the family would continue to fight to ensure that CPS and law enforcement are held accountable for their actions. "They need to be held accountable and they will be held accountable, believe you me," she said.

Reddie's family is not alone in questioning police and CPS actions. "I can't believe they (police) could not subdue Will without killing him, and over what, marijuana," said Joanne Michal, who knew Reddie for half of his life. "Why didn't police just arrest him or cite him for marijuana instead of removing his child?" she told the Herald-Times.

"It is particularly sad that Will was shot to death right in front of his son," Michal continued. "Why not use a Taser? Even if he (Will) had a knife and lunged at police, they didn't have to kill him. Instead of using a Taser, you shoot him in front of his child. It is just totally unjustified. They didn't have to kill him. I think it's very sad that his life was taken during the removal of his son. And the smell of marijuana shouldn't have been a reason for an emergency order. Just a few days before he was killed, Will was visiting, and he was so excited because a hearing was coming up for custody. And it seemed to give him hope of getting permanent custody. His son was everything to him."

Crawford County Clerk Sandra Moore said she also knew Reddie. "It's truly a shame," Moore said. "He was a good guy and very fond of his son. He had been very excited just days before" about gaining permanent custody.

Cameron Reddie is now in foster care. His father's family is seeking visitation rights.

Meanwhile, Deputy Klepadlo, who had been on administrative leave after the shooting, is back on the job.

Grayling, MI
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Justice was served!....

The man had a sharp object and was high on marijuana! Surely he's going to try and attack multiple police and cps officers. Not. Stupid motherfucking unjust piece of shit world we live in. With a corrupt government and ignorent as all can be civilians that stand by and say. Oh he was smoking marijuana! He deserved to die infront of his 3yr old fucking child. Yes getting shot to death infront of his kid def didnt take more of a toll than if he were to be smoking marijuana infront of the child. Which clearly he hadnt done in atleast 90 days. Says right there no Marijuana or Alcohol was found in his system. At the absolute least a one time marijuana use would have shown up days later. But there was none. No weed, No alcohol, Nothing. That cop shot an innocent man because the man was upset that they were trying to take his child WHEN HE WAS FUCKING INNOCENT TO BEGIN WITH. FUCK THE POLICE AND UNJUSTICE SYSTEM. - sincerely the youth of your nation.

You are ignorant as hell.

You are ignorant as hell. Smoking weed in front of your child is just as bad as the cop shooting a child's parent in front of them? WTF? Police officers are supposed to detain with the LEAST AMOUNT OF FORCE NECESSARY! Look it up, don't be lame, so either way you look at it, it was an abuse of power, for someone LIVING IN AN APARTMENT, being suspected of smoking marijuana, having his child ripped from him.

don't understand

I seriously don't understand the use of lethal force.  My niece is a cop-she is five foot nothing and weighs a hundred pounds.  She has taken down a man of 250+ lbs welding a kitchen knife. She carries a flock and a taser and in her years on the force she has only pulled her weapon twice.  Both times were during shoot outs.  She is a cop in the Houston, Texas area and you know they don't have time for b.s.  Sounds to me like the lead cop at have a thing for the child's mother and she set the child's dad up--this is so fishy smelling that we can smell it down here in the south.  As a Native American, I use sage a lot and have had cops at my door many times, cause some nosey neighbor thinks I'm throwing a pot party--never any pot, but it does smell like it.  Maybe someone was cooking some chicken and stuffing--giving the benefit of the doubt to the pot smell.  These big, bad men cops could have taken down a man with a pocket knife easily--there were two of them after all.  Tasers would have been plenty to stop him with--like I said something smells fishy.

Also, to the senior, since your child has already been convicted, the best you can do is try to get the conviction overturned.  Call on the ACLU, and any other organizations in your state.  In the meantime work the system--make life as comfortable as possible for him--just don't put too much money on his books, cause that will just cause him trouble in the inside--the other rougher prisoners will do a shakedown or charge him to leave him alone--then they usually don't keep their word.  My niece that's a cop, her brother went the other way and spent 14 years in the Texas prison system--he was getting money from the whole family, so in there he was rich--when he quit getting a lot of money(due to constantly asking for more and more money), he got gang raped, got his face slashed, and beat almost to death.  We caused it by being too generous with him.  He deserved to be in prison, because of his own stupidity, but we caused him harm by feeling sorry for him and giving him too much.  Hope everything goes well for you, and I hope that the state or feds or someone will come into your town and clean house.

First of all, if your child

First of all, if your child is locked up the one comfort you can give them is money on their books. What you said about this endangering them is stupid.

My mother is also a real cop, in a real town, that focuses on real time. Most small towns in America have their own way of doing things, and the officials and officers of those towns do whatever they want all of the time, including but not limited to oppressing their own citizens. This is what people have been fighting against for years, but until recently nobody was listening, and even now people try to justify this as an unnecessary use of force. No! The police had no business being there to begin with to even consider using force.

Michigan Father Killed In Michigan over Marijuana Deja Vue


Sounds like Michigan!Michigan Police have been murdering people for suspicions of Marijuana,  stealing the children..., and getting off Scott (Teeters ) free ( hint,hint) for decades. Remember Rainbowfarm Sep. 2001 Vandalia, Michigan? The police stole Rollies Rolhms' son  while the boy was in class at school over the Farm trying to legalize Marijuana by having Hugh outdoor concerts and educational information about Cannabis. They stole the birth right of the farm from his son Robert (age 13) Then the local police, state police from 3 states, and FBI agents descended on the 38 acre farm and exterminated both parents like rats using armor vehicles and Military CS gas grenades. Just two weeks before 911, over 300 FBI agents were camped out at Rainbow Farm . (What a waist of Tax payers money.)CPS put Robert in the custody of a retired State Policeman for the remainder of the standoff  before CPS found a "suitable parent". CPS at that time was taking over 300-450 children a month in the State of Michigan for 1 reason or another. One of the states that can take your children if you have low income, So CPS has a racket with the police. All guilty Criminals, Murders and Thieves!Which is worse for a kid? A parent who smokes pot for medicine, or a cop that murders dad's in front of  his son?   

They never should have been

They never should have been there in the first place!

Stright Bull

The first issue here is that CPS was allowed to take the child based off a police officer saying that he smelled marijuana in an APARTMENT COMPLEX...I used to live next to people who smoked all the time and my apartment constantly reeked of weed. Also, doesn't it have to be proven that the parent(s) use and are refusing/unable to stop using before a child can actually be removed, I am pretty sure some proof of neglect/abuse is necessary for such a drastic step. I am sorry, but if someone was coming in my house to take my child away for some BS reason, I'd fight till the death to keep my child. He wasn't a criminal or a bad father, he died trying to keep his child from being kidnapped. The second issue...the stupid trigger happy cops. Yes a taser could have been used, but again, it was wrong for them to have been there in the first place, in my opinion, so even a taser would have been overload (again, to me.) Cops have only gotten worse with their brutality and the justice system is only allowing them to get away with more and more. For a while it seemed like there would be some slam dunk cases coming out due to cell phone and surveillance videos...however most of the "Officers" serve laughable sentences (2-5 years) if any time at all. Now they have started to use slivers of their brains and have found out that they are less likely to get in trouble if they confiscate all cell phones from witnesses, and those videos usually always disappear. It goes higher than the cop deleting the footage because some times the phones are seized hours/days later.Awesome protection CPS provided that child, by the way, they were partially responsible for that child witnessing his father murdered, for jumping the gun.

This is incredibly sad but I

This is incredibly sad but I would wager some of the same ones in here yelling murder are some of the very same ones that supported George Zimmerman's in his murder....

In my opinion, and it is just

In my opinion, and it is just an opinion, shouldn't people arm themselves and if someone comes to take their children just shoot the would-be kidnappers? The fact that the would-be kidnappers work for the government in some way should not shield them, in my opinion. Also, I have to wonder why people whose children have been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by the CPS operatives do not seek revenge? I am not advocating anything, just asking the question. Why don't people defend themselves and their children against a satanic government? What are they so afraid of? Who thinks it is better to go down fighting? Just asking questions here, not advocating anything.

so let me get this

so let me get this straight... it's not okay to smoke pot in front of his child, but it was okay to kill him in front of his child... and then to add insult to injury he was found with no traces of pot or alcohol in his system... granted i agree that it's wrong to smoke in front of your child, but this is just insane... why not just leave the premises, and gain custody of the man after he left the building... i can see that there are many other ways this situation could have been resolved... contacting a family member to mediate perhaps... what a shame...

How Rational Would You Be

If CPS and Police knocked on your door right now and demanded you hand over your children, you have no choice or discussion... how rational would you be? Would you protest or argue even a little? Would you try and protect your family?

If you knew you were innocent and had done no wrong would you be ok with them taking your children? Would you let the government in with no protest or fight to whisk your children away?

Sounds like a dad trying to protect his family killed by our tax dollars at work...


Where was this family's due process?

CPS, WELFARE, WARFARE Expansion - Sacramento version

Streets Satellite From google maps they make it look like a bunch of agencies, but this whole complex (those buildings with the Pink when you click Satellite View) was built to SCREW people once they get in the system. The ENTIRE muli-million complex didn't even EXIST a decade ago. This is the CREEPING missions of CPS, Welfare and bound to cops who don't have a clue what the Bill of Rights or Constitution is. There are protests out in front of this massive place almost every day, and weekend. Parent's who have lost their children, parents who's lives have been CPS managed into HELL ON EARTH. Most people look at this and do not comprehend what is happening here. Neither the SIZE of what is happening or the SCOPE. Make no mistake it's a PRISON too, you can walk in there and be LOCKED up. This is fascist control, and money sucking (from everyone it can target) Get in an argument with your wife and someone call the cops, this is where you will have your life turned into a living HELL.

Welp My Map didn't come out.

The map didn't work. It went to Sacramento, just now where in Sacramento I Meant. The location on Google Maps was supposted to center on Power Inn Road and Ramona Ave EVERYTHING EAST OF POWER INN ROAD Starting at the top Cucamonga Ava Down to 14 Avenue with the Pink buildings is the complex. Sorry I don't belong to Google, and I can't figure out how to Make a mark on their map. Paste these numbers in, if you even care at all. 38.539581,-121.407317 IF you don't care, then don't waste your time, I don't know what the hell can be done about it anyway, it's not like they are going ANYWHERE, they're here to STAY FOREVER FORWARD.

Been on several sides of similar situations

Early in life I was one of those who thought if someone was arrested, they deserved it. If someone had their kids taken away, it was because they deserved it. I never knew that all it takes is a petition with an allegation. Not a warrant, no evidence. What I'm typing here is after careful consideration of facts I personally know through training or testimony, not generalizations. Speaking of testimony I suggest every citizen spend a day here and there in court listening to the process. It will blow your mind on both sides.

I have since learned about the Michigan DHS process in a manner I will not wish on my worst enemy, even he loves his kids. The biggest issue is DHS can legally kidnap your kids by allegation. That means merely the suggestion that something may be bad for your kids allows them to invoke a Michigan law to take them. If a stranger shows up and demands to see your kids saying they are DHS and you demand a warrant to prove who they are, you just lost your kids because you did not voluntarily let a stranger examine your kids.

DHS may say they are not involved with any cases against you. Please note they and the police are paid by the government. They are allowed and encourage through their training to lie to you and others to pressure you. Their lies go very harshly for you. The only times I personally know of that helped at all are those where the guardians recorded the encounters. Even when the court appointed attorney for the kids lied to the court about how the kids did not want back home and there was a lot of audio to refute it...there are a lot of uphill battles as the system protects itself.

DHS has scripts to follow. Everything can be twisted against you. The best advice is to not talk to them except through an attorney. Get them on audio threatening you will never see your kids without working with them. It helps. In Michigan, as long as you are one party of a communication, you don't need to tell anyone you are recording. Talk to people who have gone through it and you'll see the script in action.

The best advice from someone who is not a lawyer and not advising you as a lawyer but as a friend, is to not talk directly to DHS or cops aside from identifying yourself even if it means jail. They are not your friends. They will get all pissy and DHS will say you are not cooperating but make sure the judge hears you are perfectly willing to work with them through counsel. That *usually* shuts them up but then they get even more picky on what you do say. Hypothetically, can't make visitation because you were told by your boss you will be fired ? They turn that into refuses visitation which leads to your parental rights revoked. Okay, not always but if you get a hold of records you will see the pattern. It will seem bad but tough it out and work through an attorney. Ask for one when you get to see a judge. If you can't afford one, site the 1962 Supreme Court case where they ruled in favor of public attorneys.

The above is just a small example and I mean small tiny tiny bit of what is the norm when DHS gets involved and btw, once they are in, it is pretty much like joining the CIA; once in, never out.

Fact is science has since

Fact is science has since discovered the endocannabinoid system. As Raphael Mechoulem, the man who originally discovered THC in 1964 and has been studying cannabis ever since, whose team discovered the endocannabinoid system in 1987, states, "There is barely a biological or physiological system in our bodies in which the endocannabinoids do not participate".

The ECS (endocannabinoid system) is a modulator of physiological functions not only in the central nervous system but also in the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine network, the immune system, the gastrointestinal tract, the reproductive system, in microcirculation, and most important the cytokine network, which is the source of inflammation, the cause of nearly if not all disease.

By continuing to keep cannabis illegal the government is denying citizens an essential nutrient for health, causing health problems for many people. While we are a capitalist society, to create diseases for an industry to feed on by maintaining an illegal status of a plant that science has proven repeatedly to be a necessity for homeostasis is unacceptable by any government and no different from feeding the Christians to the lions. It is a genocide.


Cannabis is such an awesome antibiotic it can kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and disrupt the progression of prion diseases such as Mad Cow and Creutzfeld-Jakob disease. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, currently there is "No FDA-approved treatment for a prion disease.”

Thousands of deaths each year in the U.S. are caused by MRSA. A recent study shows hemp fabric stops the spread of Staph and MRSA. In light of that, with the Staph and MRSA epidemic in most U.S. Hospitals wouldn't it be wise to use hemp fabric for all hospital bedding, towels, clothing and curtains?


More murdering police officers supported by some BS. So please tell us all... When is the use of deadly force AGAINST a police officer (?) justified? Still employed, still allowed to carry a gun and gets drunk and laughs at the ones he killed, then goes home and beats his kids before they all go to church and gets told what a good cop he is (LIARS) - And paid to do so!

There's a very good reason

There's a very good reason when I got out of the Marine Corps in 1984 that my Marine father & 25 year State Police Veteran told me not to become a cop. None of them have common sense anymore - and you are almost assured that any prosecutor will clear you of wrongdoing. 

Meanwhile, this child has his life ended as he knows it - because some idiot cop thought this guy was a threat for smoking cannabis.  That is about the farthest stretch of reality I can think of.

For the idiot that believes 'reports' that he tried to get his child to hide his stuff.  Really?  The LAW PROTECTS you from harassment with regards to paraphernalia.  It is also supposed to protect you and your minor children from harassment also - so you can see how easily the prosecutor determined the law by himself and the officer who shot him.


Case and point.

cop kills dad taking child over pot!

Down right Murder! What if this Happened today in 2014? Now the Marijuana is Legal in the Stat as a Medicine and legal in certain city's for recreational use?

This cop should be in prison.

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