For immediate Release: Social Justice Activist call for Accountability and Answers for the actions of Police who held children at gunpoint. To hold Press Conference on Saturday
Tomorrow April 29, 2017 –at 12:00 pm at Grand Rapids Police HQ
1 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
National news from Grand Rapids, Michigan shows a concerned mother is speaking out after an extremely disturbing video that was released showing officers holding a group of unarmed black teens, including her 14-year-old son, at gunpoint on the ground.
The incident happened after Grand Rapids police responded to a report of 100 teenagers fighting, but after searching the area police only found about 20 or 25 youths and no fight, and obviously “no guns,” Grand Rapids Police Public Information Officer Terry Dixon told ABC News today
“Guys, get on the ground. Keep your hands out,” a Grand Rapids police officer tells a group of youths in the video. “Just follow our directions and we’ll be all right, OK?” This March 24 exchange, which was caught on body camera, came after a report of a group of teenagers carrying a gun; however, police later learned these youths weren’t armed.
Shawndryka Moore, whose 14-year-old son was among the teens forced to the ground, told ABC News in an interview that her son was confused and traumatized. “A whole month later it still hurts,” Moore said. “The hurtful part is how badly this could have ended. … my son and others on the ground by people that’s supposed to protect them.”
A police spokesman said the officers’ actions followed protocol and displayed “professionalism … throughout the entire ordeal,” though the spokesman added that “it is unfortunate … the teens had to endure this.”
The questions we must ask ourselves. We could ask-Why would any police take the word of a man and hold a pistol over the body of 13-year-old boys? Why would any witness’ story be changed? The statement below is from one of the organizers of the Press ConferenceIt’s because- They are victims of a police force that overwhelmingly assumes first that most young black men are criminals followed by fear of them. They are victims of bad legislation, like the Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, that gives anyone the unfettered right to kill “us” if they feel threatened in any way by “us.”.We need more love in our communities! We don’t see the same love and acceptance for our black children unconditionally that you see in other communities even the white areas. Regardless of our child’s age- We demand respect and to instill feelings of acceptance and self-worth. I would suggest to the Police on the ground that day-”You teach children, by how you treat them, that they are valuable and worthy of love.”At any point, these children could have been a Trayvon Martin or a Tamir Rice! As Police Officials, you have the power to stave off feelings of emptiness that these young men feel day by day but it’s that unfortunate you choose not to! Instead, you penalize the children and for the rest of their lives, they develop a mistrust of Police Officials.Sure, you say that pointing the Gun at them was a protocol and procedure, but I ask did you- talk to your children about racism ― tell them that Tamir Rice was just an innocent child whose death was motivated by racism. Ultimately some of these questions will be answered by investigators. Other questions—the deeper, more disturbing ones that ask about equality and intolerance—must be answered by our communities, and we will not accept any answer as sufficient. We will be the voice that controls the Narrative of our community.
For your part, a public apology is in order and I also ask that you make a proclamation for change. Nothing else will be sufficient.
For my part I’m organizing a “Peaceful Protest Rally to be scheduled at 1 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 at noon this Saturday.”
Recent initiatives to address
Recent- Change national perceptions of people of color and others about the serious and real need for Police Reform.
WHAT: For immediate Release: Social Justice Activist call for Accountability and Answers for the actions of Police who held children at gunpoint. To hold Rally on Saturday
WHERE: Grand Rapids Police HQ 1 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
WHO: Freedom First International_S.C.L.C, and others.
WHY: Police in Grand Rapids, Mich., are being taken to task over procedures that resulted in guns being pointed at a group of innocent children. The officer’s own body camera recorded the tense confrontation. The boys, aged 12 to 14. The Activist want to draw attention to the fact that national policy of policing has to change.
PHOTO/STORY OPP: Civil Rights Organizers and Community Folks who want change nationally in the wake of growing criticism of the Police Policy. This group is looking to effect change on a national level.
AREA of INTEREST: Public Safety/ National Policy Reform against_unfair Police Policy in locally and nationally.
National (local) News and other media surrounding the incident:
Are media advisers willing to give one on one interviews: Yes
Lead Activist-Media Adviser