Commissioner calls out GRPD on detaining family on Batavia Place

Posted at 6:08 PM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 18:08:04-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Kent County Commissioner Robert S. Womack told FOX 17 the detaining of a Grand Rapids family by police, including the handcuffing of a 12-year-old, wouldn't fly in certain communities.

“They will not do this in East Grand Rapids. They will not do this in Ada. The Grand Rapids police wouldn’t do this in certain affluent areas in Grand Rapids," Womack said.

He doubled down on his Facebook comment that elicited public response from Grand Rapids police chief David Rahisnky. Following policy or not, Womack believes bias was at play and that race and socioeconomic status were factors.

"I'm kind of wondering why Chief Rahinsky is mad at me when he should be mad at the person who made that [911] call and put his officers and that family in danger, because if the police tried to march my mother out of the house backwards, my father wouldn't've had it," he said.

Womack said bogus 911 calls seem to becoming a trend nationwide, and he'd like to see the caller in this case held accountable for their actions.

"I don't believe in people putting the police or those families in that situation because I care about the police, and I care about the families," he said.

The commissioner added, "Me, the chief and the police... we work for these taxpayers. So we owe them the topmost respect and protection."