GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) announced Friday morning that personnel will be present at a downtown rally planned for Monday, May 18 to ensure the safety of community members and participants.
While some organizers have labeled the event – American Patriot Rally - Sheriffs Speak Out – as being supported by law enforcement, the GRPD is in no way associated with or participating in the event. The rally is set for 5:30 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle
GRPD personnel met with event organizers to discuss public safety expectations. The organizers said they planned to follow the expectations.
“I and our entire department fully support the right to free speech and expression,” Chief Eric Payne said. “There are expectations for those exercising that right to do so in a safe manner. This group, as with all others that hold expressive speech events in our city, will be held to that same standard.”
The GRPD is committed to Grand Rapids being an inclusive and welcoming city where all community members can peacefully exercise their freedom of speech in a public forum.