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GRPD chief announces internal investigation into use-of-force video

A spokesperson for GRPD tells us there is currently no timetable on when the investigation will conclude.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne said there will be an internal investigation of a now-viral video. The video shows a GRPD officer punching a man several times in the face after trying to flee a traffic stop.

On Tuesday night, the city commission took public comment for more than an hour, mostly from people concerned about police conduct.

"It's very concerning to see local police officers hitting a black man in the face," one caller said. "We made it on TMZ. I am tired of being ashamed of where I'm from."

Justice for Black Lives president Aly Bates also called in, saying an internal investigation isn't enough to hold the officer accountable.

"We need third party investigations, no more internal investigations," said Bates. "Just the police investigating themselves and finding themselves not guilty, nothing comes of it."

Several callers specifically targeted city manager Mark Washington, calling for him to do more for officer accountability. Washington responded by saying he does not have all the details.

"I'm awaiting both the facts from the criminal case as well as the internal affairs investigation," he said. "I would ask the community do the same."

Commissioner Joseph Jones also addressed the video, saying he believes it's a more complex situation than many people understand.

"If any of us had the perfect answer, we would probably be on international news and be famous," said Jones. "It's a problem that's real and very present throughout our entire country right now."

A spokesperson for GRPD tells us there is currently no timetable on when the investigation will conclude.

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