Crime, Law and Justice

No charges in police use of force death of Willmar man

A Kandiyohi County deputy will not be charged in the death of a Willmar man who died after being shocked by a Taser.

Deputy Riley Kampsen and other officers were attempting to enforce a court-ordered eviction on 75-year-old Michael James Yanacheak on Jan. 29.

When Yanacheak approached officers inside his apartment holding a knife, Kampsen shot him with a Taser.

Yanacheak later died at a St. Cloud hospital.

The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office said he died from blunt force injuries to his head after falling when shocked by the Taser.

Kandiyohi County Attorney Shane Baker reviewed the case, including video from officers’ body cameras, and determined the use of force was justified.

Baker wrote that officers retreated when Yanacheak approached with a knife, and he found that Kampsen acted to defend himself and other officers.

Yanacheak, a native of Willmar in west-central Minnesota, was a Vietnam War veteran and was buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. His obituary said he worked as a security officer at the Minnesota Capitol before returning to Willmar after retirement.

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