What I Know and What I Don’t – about Police Behavior in Holland Michigan

Friday morning, May 4, there was a domestic violence issue in Holland.   That’s all I’m calling it because I don’t know any more than that.   One of the parties involved, here again, I’m stating only what I’ve been told from people who I know personally and who I believe to be trustworthy, one of the parties left the scene and was believed to have a gun in his possession.

Later in the day, the Holland police officers pulled over a car in the parking lot of the Maple St. Ministries.  Watch Rev. Grier’s video that she took from her office window……

https://www.facebook.com/deegrier/videos/10160150118965447/

A couple of hours later, Rev. Grier also posted this video……

https://www.facebook.com/deegrier/videos/10160150610425447/
At 12:12 am on Saturday (so 6 hours later), The Holland Police posted this on Facebook:

 Holland Police Arrest Felony Suspect on Traffic Stop, Locate Gun Used in Domestic:

About 6:15pm on Friday evening, Holland Police officers made a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of 17th and Maple. Officers had information that a suspect, who was involved in a Domestic involving a handgun earlier in the day, was in the vehicle and was believed to be in possession of the gun. There were four people between 19 and 23 years old in the vehicle that were ordered out at gunpoint. The suspect was arrested and charged with Domestic Assault, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and had an unrelated warrant for his arrest. The driver was arrested, cited and released for a driving offense, and the other two passengers were released approximately 20 minutes after the stop.

(Bold print is mine)

There are three things that I don’t know that I would like to have the Holland Police answer for the public:

1.  Their statement says that they “had information.”   What information was that – was it a positive ID that it absolutely was the guy from the assault Friday morning?   Or was it a matter of, “here are four people from about the same age who are all people of color, driving around…..  Hmmmm…..”  If they had a reason beyond racial bias, they should share it with the community to restore trust.

2. The suspect was believed to be in possession of the gun – why did they believe that?  Did he flash it at someone while driving down 16th st?   Or did they assume?    If they had a reason beyond racial bias, they should share it with the community to restore trust.

3. Regarding to the guns to the head – after all four of the occupants of the car were out, searched, handcuffed and lying on the ground, the police officers not only still had their guns out but had them pointed directly at these four people’s heads.  What I would like to know, what I believe we need to know is a two part question:  a) Why did they feel they needed to continue to actively aim their guns at their heads when the police officers were no longer at risk from them?   b) Can the Holland Police provide documentation of another case with a similar pursuit and arrest involving white people where they kept their guns aimed at the occupants of the car even after they were out, searched and handcuffed?  If the police claim (and they do) that they were following standard protocol, then I would urge them to show information where they used that same protocol in a similar situation and the only thing that was substantially different was the color of the skin of the people in the car. 

It can’t happen in our neighborhood.  The way it looks right now, racial bias and execessive violence did happen in our world.

And we can not let it go quietly.

Tom

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