Viral Video Shows Grand Rapids Officers Striking Littering Suspect
A video has gone viral of Grand Rapids police officers striking a man suspected of littering.
The video has gone viral after a post from Grand Rapids City Commissioner Robert Womack that showed footage from officer worn bodycams during the March 26th stop at Hall & Division. The police were engaging in a community policing initiative called Operation Safe Neighborhoods.
The driver of the vehicle, identified as Diabate Hood, has retained the services of attorney Tyrone Bynum. Hood appears to try and exit the passenger side of the vehicle during the recording. He is then pulled from the vehicle and struck in the face by one officers while two others subdue the suspect. Hood can be heard screaming 'my eye' while being struck.
Womack tells WZZM 13:
This was a stop that did produce some guns and got some guns off the street. But at the same time, people have rights. And when we look at people getting pulled over for littering, we have to wonder how many other African Americans were pulled over for littering in that vicinity that might have been searched and treated like that who did not have guns. And at the same time, knowing that some guns were found after they apprehended the young men, that still does not give the police the right to beat somebody in the face while both their hands are on the ground."
WARNING: Some may find the video graphic.
At this point, there have not been any Internal Affairs complaints filed about the incident and the GRPD has defended their use of force in this instance as three arrests were made and four guns were confiscated during the stop.
Chief Eric Payne told Fox 17:
This is the police work that I expect from my personnel. I have made the enforcement of violent crime and the recovery of illegal firearms one of the department’s top priorities.