7 people arrested during ICE protests in downtown Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Seven people have been arrested after protesters blocked a major downtown intersection.
About 100 people protesting Kent County’s contract to work with ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department marched down Ottawa Avenue at about 9:45 a.m. Police say they arrested seven protesters who sat down in the intersection of Ottawa Avenue and Michigan Street.
Police say they told protesters to remain on the sidewalks and let vehicles pass. Seven people, all adults, who were holding the group’s banner, went into the middle of the intersection and sat down, despite being told they would be arrested. They were all arrested for Failing to Comply With a Lawful Order and Resisting and Obstructing Police, which are both city misdemeanors.
“The Grand Rapids Police Department has great respect and admiration for the Constitutional expression that is a basis for our American freedoms,” said Chief David Rahinsky in a press statement. “However, when demonstrators block a road that leads to facilities which provide emergency medical treatment for the City of Grand Rapids residents and West Michigan, they endanger the health, safety and welfare of the community. At that point we are obligated to act in the community’s best interest.”