Public addresses city leaders about GRPD concerns

Posted at 11:38 PM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 23:38:07-04


Tuesday was the first time the City Commission has met since the numerous videos showing confrontations with Grand Rapids Police have surfaced.

Most recently, this video surfaced online showing GRPD’s encounter with a man whom they were attempting to place under arrest. Police say they pulled a car over suspected of involvement in a fight and vandalism incident Monday night, and when they realized one of the people in the car had a warrant for their arrest, they attempted to take him into custody.

Police say the man did not comply with officers attempts to arrest him, adding that other people in the car tried to pull police off the man police were trying to apprehend.

“The officer reports that the individual was grabbing at his face and his duty belt attempting to access items from his belt. the officer stated that the individual was scratching and squeezing his face, neck and throat. the individual also bit the officer in the arm, requiring medical treatment,” Interim Chief Kiddle said.

Family members of the suspect say the officers use of force was excessive.

Tonight members of the public spoke out to city leaders, asking for them to make the changes voters are asking for.

“Who’s the hold up for our community being forced to live like we’re poor widows sons? And we just continue to accept it, like it’s okay. Like really, when y’all sitting in y’all circles, and y’all having these meetings about the GRPD, we gave you our power through our vote,” one comment said.

Others in the audience defended the officers, and public officials are calling for a mutual understanding between the community and police.

“It’s just so much pressure it’s for years…we haven’t saw the community grabbing the police or biting the police like what happened last night, it’s just an emergency situation where we need better police and citizen communication and relations here in Grand Rapids, to relieve some of that pressure,” Kent County Commissioner Womack said.