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Grand Rapids City Commission meeting ends early after protests

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Posted at 9:34 AM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 09:34:56-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids City Commission meeting adjourned early Tuesday after protests erupted. 

A small march to the meeting was held beforehand to protest Patrick Lyoya’s death.

The disorder started during public comment after a women directed her words from commissioners to Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom, who was in the back of the room. 

People started to cheer and swear then started to get out of their seats. Some people approached Winstrom while others went up to commissioners to air their concerns. 

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss ended the meeting during the chaos.

Several officers were brought in as city officials left. 

No arrests were made. 

Winstrom and the officers stayed in the chambers with protestors until 11 p.m., when Winstrom told the small remaining group that they needed to leave within the next five minutes. 

The protestors complied and left without incident. 

Chief Winstrom spoke to FOX17 afterwards and said he was not surprised by what had happened.

"I've been in this situation before, where, people want to scream and yell," said Winstrom. "It looked to me like it was a group of people who wanted to vent."

Winstrom added, "Sometimes people want to sit at the table, the seat at the table, they want their voice to be heard and they want to have a discussion and then other times they just want to vent. It sounded to me after the first couple of speakers people just wanted to scream and yell."

Before the incident, several people had taken to the podium at the commissioner’s meeting and voiced frustration Lyoya’s death. 

Some of the concerns included the investigation into Lyoya’s death and police policies. Many of the protestors called for the officer involved to be arrested and fired. 

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