Lawyer, commissioner hope settlement sends a message

Posted at 5:05 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 17:06:51-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The lawyer of a man who was repeatedly punched by a Grand Rapids police officer hopes the $125,000 settlement reached with the city will prevent it from happening again.

Bronquel Brown was punched over 30 times during his March 17 arrest that police say started with him not complying with their commands. The officer has since been fired and Brown’s attorney says his client is happy with the settlement, but they hope it keeps it from happening to another person.

“Bronquel’s biggest concern was that: ‘Mr. Bynum this cannot happen again,’” said Brown’s lawyer, Tyron Bynum.

Brown and Bynum were introduced by Kent County Commissioner Robert Womack, who also bailed Brown out of jail after he heard what happened.

“Hitting someone 31 times while they’re already down is unacceptable and a lot of times in the United States of America, nothing happens,” Womack said.

Womack called the settlement an opportunity for the city to make things right.

“It’s just simply an opportunity to be the city on notice,” Bynum said of the settlement. “Hopefully through what we’ve just gone through the City of Grand Rapids will be an example to other cities on what not to do.”

Womack said it’s the first time in recent history he can remember an officer being fired and a settlement being reached.

“It’s a good sign to the younger generation,” he said.

Womack wants the “bad apples” in law enforcement to know there are consequences to their actions.

“We have a lot of good police but there are bad apples that make the whole police department look bad, but now these bad apples know that there will be action,” Womack said.

Bynum wants the settlement to empower citizens.

“Unlawful behavior won’t go unchecked, that people are not afraid, and that people do understand the montage of law enforcement is to protect and serve, not to enforce beat up and assault individual citizens and take law into your own hands,” he said.

Brown is still facing a charge of resisting arrest and will be back in court in the upcoming months.