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GRPD officer on leave for excessive force

Posted at 9:43 AM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-19 09:43:12-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — “I will not-nor will any member of Grand Rapids Police Department-accept or tolerate force used unreasonably to safely make an arrest,” said GRPD Interim Chief David Kiddle.

Right now, a Michigan Police officer is under investigation for excessive force.

The investigation comes after cell phone video shared on Facebook shows the officer hit a man dozens of times during a traffic stop over the weekend.

The whole ordeal was caught on camera by a neighbor woman who now tells Grand Rapids WOOD TV8 she was home Sunday around midnight when she heard yelling outside.

She says when she looked outside and saw Grand Rapids Police, she started recording.

They say they saw police yelling at man to get out of a car when the man appeared to refuse. According to witnesses, that’s when officers open the door and broke car windows while the driver’s young son was in the backseat.

The driver is then tased and seen repeatedly being punched while being held on the ground by several officers. Grand Rapids Police say the driver was hit close to thirty times.

The woman says she was horrified. "It was very scary to watch…They have kids, looking up to them. I wouldn't want my son, if my son wanted to be a police officer, I wouldn't want him to look up to a cop like that."

She also says after the incident, she saw the officer smiling and laughing while walking back to the patrol car. That officer is off duty until an investigation is complete.

The driver was booked in the Kent County Jail for resisting arrest and driving on a suspended license.

Grand Rapids Police Chief David Kiddle also addressed a second arrest from last week, releasing new video showing what happened. It shows a Grand Rapids officer stopping two teens walking on the street instead of the sidewalk, which is against city ordinance.

The officer gets out of his cruiser and tells the teens to get on the sidewalk. They do so, but won’t give up their names. They also put their hands in their pockets repeatedly, which ended with the officer pulling his gun on them.

Interim Chief Kiddle says he understands concerns from the public but said the officer followed protocol and acted appropriately.

"Policing is not a pretty profession,” said Interim Chief Kiddle. “Again, had the individuals cooperated from the beginning it never would have gotten that far"

One of the teens was arrested for resisting and obstruction. The other was turned over to his parents.