"I would never recommend a person of color to move here": GR residents share experiences with GRPD

Mar 29, 2019

Residents of Grand Rapids speaking on their experiences with the Grand Rapids Police Department to officials of the Michigan Civil Rights Department.

“This is not going to change until one of you all’s children is killed by the Grand Rapids Police because it hasn’t changed in 60 years.” 

That’s Woody Simpson. A long-time resident of Grand Rapids speaking to a standing room only at the public forum on Thursday. 

And here is Leah Thomas sharing her experience living in the city.

“For me, as a woman, a single woman, I am so tired of the disrespect of not being treated as a human being and the disregard of me being as a human. Something has to change.”

Thomas expressed to officials of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights that she wished she would have moved out of Grand Rapids a long time ago. 

“If I had planned accordingly, I would have moved out of this city a long time ago because I would never recommend a person of color to move here for nothing.”

No Grand Rapids Police officers were present at the forum that lasted over eight hours on the southeast side of Grand Rapids. As of today, the Michigan Civil Rights Department has not launched any official investigation of GRPD. 

Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News.