Eaton Rapids' community protests Officer Kirby's firing

Posted at 9:46 AM, Jun 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-14 09:46:10-04

On the corner of South Main street in Eaton Rapids a handful of protesters are demanding answers.

"The town is very upset about what is happening here so we couldn't sit down and let it happen," said protest organizer, Traci Lawson. "We had to make a stand."

The protesters are taking a stand for former officer Lisa Kirby who did more than just protect the community, but she tried to support many.

"We have some young kids here from high school that she has personally paid out her own pockets for them to go to football because their parents couldn't afford it and they were in trouble," Lawson said.

She tells Fox 47 News that selflessness is why they're protesting.

It wasn't until a city council meeting where Kirby fought to be reinstated that the community learned of her firing.

"We were told that she had been fired and I contacted her via Facebook and asked what happened," Lawson said.

The group says Kirby had been mistreated in the department for six weeks after reporting sexual harassment. They say Kirby was placed on leave when she asked city council to investigate.

"She was put on a two-day leave of absence and when she returned to work she was fired," explained Lawson.

Fox 47 News spoke with Officer Kirby and she tells me she's grateful for the amount of community support she's getting. That support is allowing her to continue fighting for what she says is a retaliation for speaking up.

Even though Monday's protesters were small in number, they say their reach is much larger because they aren't the only ones that have been impacted by Kirby.

Eaton Rapids city council is expected to decide in a few weeks if Lisa Kirby will be reinstated.