City, local groups working to repair GR police and community relationships after traffic study

Posted at 9:56 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 23:00:55-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Tensions are still high over traffic study results released last month that showed black drivers are 2.5 times more likely to get pulled over in Grand Rapids.

The city and local groups are trying to mend the relationship between police and the community, but many have different opinions on how that should be accomplished.

City leaders said at Tuesday's city commission meeting that there's no exact timeline or road map for how and when this problem will be solved.

Some people don't think the city is moving quickly enough to address the issues.  Linc Up partnered with the NAACP and other groups and also held a meeting on Tuesday where people could come together and talk in detail about the city's 12 point plan.

"So now it's been two years, and based on what the city is saying has been completed... we need to really sit down and thoroughly look at the status updates the city has provided the residents and understand if they feel good with the current status [that] has been provided by the city or if they need more info and what info they need," said local NAACP president Lee Jackson.

City officials say they have been keeping people up to date on the steps in the plan, and Tuesday morning the city passed four resolutions that they say will increase transparency.  Among them is creating a police policy procedure review with residents, the city's attorney and a yet to be hired policing expert to go through all of the police policies and rules.

"Not many cities in this country would undertake voluntary traffic studies," said City Manager Greg Sundstrom. "Typically, they are done by a court order. In Grand Rapids, we want to know if there is racist bias in our traffic stops and we are going to continue to do this until we eliminate bias in our city services."

If you'd like to attend one of their upcoming city community meetings they start on June 12.

First Ward Meeting
June 12, 2017
6:00 p.m.

Stocking School (863 7th Street)

Second Ward Meeting

June 20, 2017
6:00 p.m.

GRPS University (1400 Fuller)

Third Ward DAY Meeting

June 12, 2017
12:00 p.m.

Michigan First Credit Union (Burton & Breton)

Third Ward EVENING Meeting

June 19, 2017
6:00 p.m.

Gerald R. Ford School (851 Madison)

Spanish Language Meeting

June 16, 2017
6:00 p.m.
Cesar Chavez (1205 Grandville)