Grand Rapids Police Department

Grand Rapids protest photo
Patrick Center / WGVU

Monday, the City of Grand Rapids made it clear a 3pm downtown rally and protest was not coordinated with its organizers and therefore not permitted. Who or what was behind it may not have mattered to protestors.

“Without a gun you’re the same as us. Without a gun you’re the same as us. Without a gun you’re the same as us.”

What began with a few dozen protesters grew to a few hundred.

“I just want to see how far they’ll go to keep us from having a voice.”

That’s protestor Marcia Edwards.

Grand Rapids Police Department

At Thursday’s budget meeting Grand Rapids City Manager, Mark Washington explained the police department’s budget will not be cut. Instead, Chief of Police Eric Payne is proposing a $1.13 million budget freeze. 

“So there are no community policing resources that are being cut. There are some adjustments that are being made.”

According to the Foreign Nationals Policy, officers of the Grand Rapids Police Department will not be allowed to inquire about someone’s immigration status, or detain an individual based solely on actual or suspected violations of federal immigration law. Here is Eric Payne, chief of GRPD explaining the policy further. 

“If we have contact with someone asking them about their status is not something that’s a priority for us, nor do we do it, so now that’s what we are hoping or what we believe that the policy will address.” 

GRPD respond to the two shootings that happened over the weekend

Jul 9, 2019

The first shooting  happened in the area of Pearl Street and Summer Avenue where officers responded after hearing multiple gun shots fired. Two young men were taken to an area hospital with injuries resulting from the shooting.

The second incident took place in the area of 6thand Front Avenue after a 911 call came in. Upon arrival officers located victims. The shots fired killed 21 year old Saul Espinoza and injured a woman.

According to Eric Payne, Deputy Police Chief of the Grand Rapids Police Department the two shootings were unrelated, and not random acts of violence. 

Juanita Ligon

Last week, Grand Rapids Police Department pointed a gun and handcuffed three African-American youths, none of the minors were armed. Chief David Rahinsky said the officers acted according to the department's Youth Interaction Policy.  

“Keep your hands up on top of your head, man. Dude, you got to listen, and keep your hands  on top of your head, all right?” 

GRPD badge
Grand Rapids Police Department /

Authorities have identified a man killed in a Grand Rapids shooting and are asking for the public's help in solving the slaying.

Grand Rapids police said Monday that the man killed Saturday in a shooting at a large party was 28-year-old Lou Cleveland Luckett of Grand Rapids. He was killed and a woman was injured in the shooting at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The woman was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Study: GRPD needs more organization, not more cops

Apr 9, 2019


As the Grand Rapids Police Department continues its work to improve city and community relations, hiring more sworn police officers isn’t the answer. The Department needs to make better use of the resources it already has. That was the main theme as independent consulting firm Hillard Heintz presented its findings Tuesday morning to the Grand Rapids City Commission after doing an overall analysis of the police department’s day to day operations.

“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.”

In the last 30 days two Grand Rapids Police officers have been placed on administrative leave. 

One incident involved an officer using racially-charged language about a U.S. Citizen and veteran in an email to Immigration Customs Enforcement and the other involved an officer using excessive force during a traffic stop. Both incidents involved people of color. 

Agustin Arbulu, executive director of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission says this is not the first time the Grand Rapids Police Department shows bias. 

City of Grand Rapids

It was last Monday that The American Civil Liberties Union released all the documentation revealing that Grand Rapids Police Department Captain Curt Vanderkooi contacted Immigration Customs and Enforcement, while off duty, regarding U.S citizen and veteran, Jilmar Ramos-Gomes.