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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.

City of GR holds closed door meeting on police relations with select community members

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On Thursday, Grand Rapids City Manager, Mark Washington, Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Payne, Brandon Davis, Director of Oversight and Public Accountability and Stacy Stout, Director of Diversity inclusion hosted a closed meeting to discuss community and police relations. 

Here is Denavvia Mojet, one of those invited, sharing her thoughts through a video of the meeting shared on social media. 

“We have a lot of people who are not tapped into organizations or institutions who are angry and are just choosing to go downtown, and take to the neighborhood and the situation is blowing up! We've been having conversations with the city, for years, and now we don’t have the luxury anymore of just saying we can have a private meeting in a church and the problem is solved.” 

According to the email sent to an undisclosed number of recipients, those invited were asked not to invite others to attend to abide by Covid-19 restrictions. Eleanor Moreno, one of those in attendance said the community should have been invited to the event. 

“Every morning I wake up and think about who am I accountable to. I am accountable to the people in my neighborhood, Roosevelt Park, I am accountable to the residents in first ward, I am accountable to people who don’t speak English, I am accountable for folks who don’t get the privilege to sit in spaces like these.  We didn’t do a good job. You all didn’t do a good job.” 

The meeting was closed to the media and was held at Renaissance Church of God in Christ in Grand Rapids. Washington said he intentionally did not to invite elected officials because he wanted those invited to have the opportunity to discuss their concerns with staff from the City exclusively.

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