GRPD Chief talks racial tension with community members

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Greater Grand Rapids NAACP organized a forum at Baxter Community Center Wednesday evening to open a conversation between community members and law enforcement.

"I just wish somebody would tell America, black folk are not the enemy. We are not the enemy," said Cle Jackson of the NAACP.

The NAACP is calling the community sessions “The Journey for Justice, Rights, Responsibilities and Reform."

Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky answered questions from the public, including their concerns over racial profiling within the African American community.

The group voiced concerns over the low amount of minority officers within the Grand Rapids Police Department, with many saying the police force must look like the community they represent.

Chief Rahinsky said that over the past few years, with a competitive job market, more police applicants have higher qualifications, such as advanced degrees. That’s something Rahinsky said might play a factor when it comes to finding eligble minority officers.

On the issue of body cameras, the NAACP is calling for a pilot program to test body cameras within the city of Grand Rapids.

The Grand Rapids Police Department also said that the number of complaints against officers by members of the public are significantly lower this year than in years past. The chief said that is a step in the right direction.

The NAACP asked for people to sign their online petition seeking justice for Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

The NAACP also said that they are asking for a review of Michigan’s 'Stand Your Ground' and racial profiling laws.

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18 comments

  • Noah Salakk

    Yeah!! Why shouldn’t the Kent County chapters of NAACP get attention and donations out of this as well? This is unbelievable…. 98% of Black Americans believe that the findings of the EXTENSIVE, Bi-Racial Grand Jury Investigation were WRONG, and that Officer Wilson intentionally Murdered an Innocent Man.. You don’t argue with people that DON’T WANT TO HEAR THE TRUTH, you’d be wasting your time, and you certainly don’t want to coddle people that show a BLUNT and willing Ignorance… (I’m sure alot of people won’t approve of this but it’s Just my Opinion)

    • idunno

      i do know that the REAL problem of black people is Lack of Employment. if Eric or Mike Brown would of had jobs they wouldn’t of been there atleast 8hrs. The cigarellos would’ve been bought & who get’s Blunted on the JOB?????? Please Responsible Companies invest in yourselves & hire MORE MINORITIES. Body Cameras do nothing ALL the Rodney Kings were on video with the same results. & ALL of this is the REPUBLICAN result of HELPING AMERICA FAIL. Their PLAN of NO JOBS BILLS, OBSTRUCTION & HATRED for the BEST PRESIDENT EVER is the most stupidest and most DISREPECTFUL thing the themselves and US of A. We need JOBS all the SIDE EFFECTS of JOBS are good EFFECTS of America. Maybe if was YOUR KID you would understand Noah.

      • Noah Salakk

        MY KID is respectful of authority.
        Did you really just say that Barack Obama was the “BEST PRESIDENT EVER” and then use the term, “most stupidest” in the same sentence???
        You claim that the reason America has FALLEN APART over the past 7 years, was due to the incompetence of………………… Republicans??
        You should talk to your caseworker and see if the Democratic Party is accepting help from Special People like yourself… Maybe you could color in posters or something?? (And remember, after the temperature outside falls below 30 degrees, Flagpoles taste like Waffles!!!!)

  • Leave My Rights Alone

    Stand you ground laws simply state you are legally able to defend yourself without a duty to retreat.
    Taking away the rights of lawful Americans and empowering criminals is not the answer.
    We need to stand up and demand the right to self defense stay in tact.

    • idunno

      idunno Only cowards gotta carry thier guns with them everywhere they go.U think????? Or paranoid schitzophrenics/ cowardly lion.

      • Leave My Rights Alone

        Who said anything about “open carry” ?
        However that too is a civil right.
        Its a very simple concept, don’t attempt to victimize another person and you would have no reason to fear that persons right to self defense.

        You are correct on one issue, U-don’t know.

  • idunno

    i do know that the REAL problem of black people is Lack of Employment. if Eric or Mike Brown would of had jobs they wouldn’t of been there atleast 8hrs. The cigarellos would’ve been bought & who get’s Blunted on the JOB?????? Please Responsible Companies invest in yourselves & hire MORE MINORITIES. Body Cameras do nothing ALL the Rodney Kings were on video with the same results. & ALL of this is the REPUBLICAN result of SABOTAGING TO MAKE AMERICA FAIL(. Their PLAN of NO JOBS BILLS, OBSTRUCTION & HATRED for the BEST PRESIDENT EVER is the most stupidest and most DISREPECTFUL thing the themselves and US of A. We need JOBS all the SIDE EFFECTS of JOBS are good EFFECTS of America. Maybe if was YOUR KID you would understand Noah……. Man did YOU have a brain fart or what YOUR sentences DON’T MAKE SENCE on a kindergarden level..

  • yup

    Get off your high horse no one ever said you are the enemy. We are sick of hearing every time a young black man gets arrested it’s racism stop they got In trouble and made it worse because they pull a race card. We as a community need to teach respect and self worth and turn down the thugs you are not socially held back pull up your pants and rebuild your community stop putting up the racial wall and start taking it down brick by brick stop racism in your home NAACP to whites this organization is racist if tables where turned to only help whites would that be racist or there own tv station. The Grand Rapids Police Dept has black officers white officers Hispanic officers Asian officers they have hard jobs already to need to put on KID gloves because what they do could be racist. Body Cams as big a joke as our president they will still be criticized.

    • idunno

      Dear YUP please insert MURDERED in place of ARRESTED; then replace STUPIDITY for Racism and last but not least it is the Police who need to LEARN what and WHY RESECT is a TWO WAY STREET. How could YOU get so far OFF the main SUBJECT?

  • CommonSense

    The black population is roughly 12 % but they make up 40% of the prison population. Anyone over 12 years old knows that it is wrong to steal, do or sell drugs, vandalize, assault or kill someone but they choose to do it anyway. The police do not target blacks. The facts are clear and indisputable that black people commit more crimes. The problem isn’t “not enough jobs”, it is the fact that so many black children are born to a single mom with no father to be found. Children need a father who knows right from wrong and can see by example how civilized people act in society. When a business opens in a black neighborhood it normally closes soon after due to theft and vandalism. Police your own people and stand up and take responsibility. Clean up your neighborhoods and stop having children out of marriage.

    • idunno

      Yeah people “don’t need jobs”? What an intelligent way to think, you gotta be working in a family business i can”t see you getting past to many interviews.

      • idunno

        If blacks are 12% of the population HOW can they be considered the ONEs HAVING THE MOST BABIES????? Think before YOU type, please.

        • CommonSense

          IDUNNO – you are an idiot.

          I can’t get qualified employees. When I post openings I state they must be able to pass a drug test, have a clean driving record, and no felony convictions. That just eliminated a huge portion of the job seekers and the few who qualify want to show up late and play on their phone half the day instead of work. I pay well over minimum wage.

          There are jobs available all over for good workers.

          If you could read and understand what I said you would see I didn’t say blacks have the most babies. I said they have children with no father or husband around. Nearly 73% of black babies are born out of wedlock.

          • idunno

            NOTMUCHCOMMONSENSE……. Everybodies ot a Father DUMMYBUTT the FACT is they hand BLACKS out FELONIES like CANDY along with LONGER, HARSHER, CHARGES, SENTENCES, and the FINES will make sure ALL your GROCERY $$MONEY has the your KIDS STARVing and goes into THIER/the COURTS POCKETS. Just like BLACKS EXCELL in $PORT$ so would THEY in YOUR BUSSINE$$.

    • Hector Garcia

      There was a case in Grand Rapids where an african-american male did 17 years. He never met the accuser, because the whole case was fabricated. The accuser has admitted she lied under oath in a court of law. The Quentin Carter case has become a nationwide case. Quentin Has blamed the Grand Rapids Police for falsely arresting him. The Kent County Prosecutor has admitted a mistake was made.

  • idunno

    And as a BUSINESS how do YOU like COMPETING against the INDUSTRIAL PRISON COMPLEX who has SLAVERS that work for .25 COMMONCENTS an HOUR???? Taking real $$MONEY out of EVERYBODIES BUSINE$$ and POCKET$….. a real STEAL CASE amount of money so IRWIN SEAT urASS DOWN.