Mayor Bliss 'heartbroken' over GRPD's treatment of 11-year-old girl

Dec 13, 2017

In the wake of Grand Rapids Police Officers handcuffing an 11-year-old black girl at gunpoint, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss is weighing on the issue. After fighting tears at the City Commissioners’ meeting Tuesday, Bliss issued this statement via her facebook page:  

 “I was heartbroken by what I saw on the video, and it confirms we still have a lot of work to do. No child should have this experience. It was painful to watch, we must and we will do better.”

In the video the young girl cries as her mother shouts at police that her daughter is only 11 years old. Police in the video tell the girl to stop crying as they handcuff her and place her in a police cruiser.

Addressing the media, Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky said he took issue with the police officers conduct.

“What you will see on the body worn camera, the juvenile is treated the same way we would have treated any adult. And when you are dealing with an 11 year old, it is inappropriate. So as an agency we have to have some tough conversations, some tough conversations that include the community. We need to look at everything from our hiring, to our training, and to our supervision.”   

While Chief Rahinsky said he was personally meeting with the young girl’s family, at the time of this report, the officers in the video had not been suspended or put on administrative leave according to a police department spokesperson.