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.”