GRCC students react to GRPD traffic stop report

GRCC students react to GRPD traffic stop report

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Stock Photo: GRCC

By Nicole Quigley – Collegiate Staff

Recently the Grand Rapids Police Department released a report stating that  black drivers are twice as likely to be stopped and searched by police in Grand Rapids compared to non-black drivers. These results are based on a study that was conducted from 2013-2015.

At an April 18 press conference, GRPD Police Chief David Rahinsky showed his concern for the results and expressed that not only the department, but everyone in the Grand Rapids area should be disappointed with these findings.  

Days after the study was released, reactions were across the board among GRCC students.

“I have dated an African American before and he would tell me multiple times that he was pulled over while going the speed limit and having nothing wrong with his car while driving in East Grand Rapids,” said Kelsey Knauss, 25, of Grand Rapids.

Knauss felt strongly about this topic and went on to comment even further.  “I think that the police force is mostly white and maybe there could be more diversity within the GR Police Department,” Knauss said.

Not only did students notice the GRPD needs to become more diverse, but the department itself recognized the issues as well. On March 20, GRPD hired its most diverse recruiting class, consisting of three white males, three white females, three African American males, one Asian female, and one hispanic male.  

Another student of GRCC, Khayree Williams, 20, of Grand Rapids, agreed with Knauss.  

“I think that the reason this happens is stereotypes,” Williams said. “Police are pulling people over based on what they see in different areas.  I feel like they are comparing one person to all.”

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s always comical when people say they were pulled over for no reason. If you want to be a police officer for a short time, start your report off with,”Without any reason I stopped a car.” You can’t drive a block down the road without committing some VIOLATION that allows you to be stopped in most cases. If you want to keep your house, bank accounts, and job, you stop people for a reason the police department you work for, supports. Another thing. I’m not sure if I have poor vision, but I must. Because I may have known the race of the driver about 1% or less of the time, until I got up to the car. For college students, that’s 1 car out of a 100 stops. Which, makes the whole racial profiling stop thing, a moot point right from the start. All the traffic stop studies, all of the hired money spent to determine if there’s a problem, is money down the drain. I’m sure there are cops throughout the country that see a black person and then find a reason to stop them. Just like there are fools who see a pretty girl and stop her. But systemic? I doubt many departments fall under that. As stated, and I’ll reiterate, until I got up to the side of the car, for all I knew a dog was driving the car. Kinda takes racial stops right out the window…

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