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No charges filed in use of force incident involving a close-range chemical deterrent

Posted at 5:53 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 18:11:55-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Kent County prosecutor said no charges will be filed against a Grand Rapids police officer in a use of force incident during last months riots.

A viral video shows Sean Hart getting pepper sprayed by that officer before being shot with a "speed heat" chemical round at close range.

In an opinion issued by Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker earlier Friday said that filing any charges against the police dispersing riots is "virtually impossible."

Becker added that officers breaking up riots are given a "large amount of immunity" if someone is killed or hurt.

Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne issued a statement saying he appreciated the review.

"This incident is concerning to me and our department, which is why it is critically important for the Internal Affairs Unit (IA) to be deliberate in its investigation of Officer Reinink’s action that night," Chief Payne said.

Read Kent County Prosecutors Chris Becker's full opinion here.