A Kent County official got behind the wheel after a night of drinking last November. The events that transpired after led to the injury of one man and the end of several careers. The man Josh Kuiper hit, Daniel Empson, spoke out on Tuesday, Sept. 19, about the way this incident tarnished his trust in law enforcement.
Former Kent County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Josh Kuiper got behind the wheel after drinking at three different Grand Rapids bars. He drove the wrong way down a one-way street where he hit Empson and a parked car. Three Grand Rapids Police officers were involved in the handling the accident, and their actions continue to be highly scrutinized--primarily the decision not to administer a breathalyzer test.
Last week, additional phone calls among the officers involved in the incident were finally released to the public.
The phone calls paint a clearer picture of the decisions made by officers that night as they attempted to cover for the former prosecutor. Those decisions ultimately led to the end of Lt. Matthew Janiskee's 23-year career in law enforcement, and the suspension of the other two involved.
Janiskee instructed the officer on scene, Adam Ickes, to "pass" Kuiper on sobriety tests. Meanwhile, Empson, the victim tossed to the pavement by Kuiper, suffered multiple injuries.
"It's really challenging to sit back and say you can keep the status quo. People need to understand this is not acceptable behavior for anyone who works in any level of authority," said Empson.
Empson's attorney said they are currently pursuing a suit against Kuiper and the three bars where he drank that evening. Those bars include Luna, Waldron House and Gardella's.
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