95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Veteran who handed over to Immigration authorities by police settles with the City of Grand Rapids

Courtesy Family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

Last thanksgiving, Jilmar Ramos-Gomez was threatened with deportation when a Grand Rapids Police Department Captain Curt Vanderkooi contacted Immigration Customs Enforcement after seeing the veterans’ name and photo in the news. 

At the time, Ramos-Gomez had been arrested after trespassing onto the helipad at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital. Actions he said were a result of a post traumatic stress disorder episode. When the veteran was arrested, he had his American passport on him, and he still spent three days in jail threatened with deportation. 

“We were so pleased and honored to spend veteran’s day with him negotiating for justice. It was really fitting to spend that day with him and we were so glad that we were able to reach a resolution with the city of Grand Rapids on Monday.” 

That’s Miriam Aukerman from the ACLU of Michigan and one of the attorneys representing Ramos-Gomez. The resolution she is talking about refers to the $190,000 dollars Ramos-Gomez will be receiving from the City of Grand Rapids.

“The only information that Captain Vanderkooi had is that Jilmar was Latino, he has a recognizably Latino name and that led Captain Vanderkooi to ask ICE to check his status. That’s about as clear as you can get in terms of a case of racial profiling.” 

Captain Vanderkooi received a two-day suspension following an investigation from the city of Grand Rapids, but this is not the first time, the city, has reached a settlement on behalf of Captain Vanderkooi. Vanderkooi continues to employed by the Grand Rapids Police Department. 

Michelle Jokisch Polo WGVU News. 

Related Content