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Dept. of Civil Rights files discrimination charges against GRPD

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Posted at 11:47 AM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 11:47:59-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Civil Rights plans to hold a news conference in Grand Rapids Monday to announce formal charges of discrimination filed against the Grand Rapids Police Department.

The department says these charges are in response to two separate complaints.

Additionally, the department says it is investigating about 28 complaints of discrimination filed against GRPD.

GRPD has dealt with civil rights issues in the past.

One of those includes Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, an American-born citizen and former lance corporal in the Marines who served in Afghanistan.

A police captain was investigated for his actions that led to ICE detaining Gomez, even though he had a U.S. passport and driver’s license showing is a veteran.

Another investigation involved Honestie Hodges, an 11-year-old girl who was put in handcuffs while police tried to find a 41-year-old white woman who was a stabbing suspect.

The department held meetings in 2019 and heard from 80 people.

GRPD updated its policies and procedures in 2020.

FOX 17 reached out to the city Friday, which responded with the following statement:

"The city of Grand Rapids has been fully cooperative and engaged with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) since at least May 2019 when investigations began. The city has been in constant communication with the department through their changes of leadership and transitions in staff handling cases. The city has received two matters this week from MDCR and a hearing has been requested for each matter. The city intends to respond and attend all hearings as provided by the MDCR administrative rules."

The news conference is Monday at 10 a.m. in the Delta Plaza Room at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Rapids Airport (3333 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids). You can watch it streaming live on fox17online.com.

On Tuesday, Chief Eric Winstrom plans to discuss his observations and intentions to move the department forward and improve public safety.

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