The Grand Rapids Police Department is facing more fallout for the way a high profile case was handled last fall.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) plans on filing several complaints that accuse the department of discriminatory practices, including racial profiling. The ACLU and the Michigan Immigration Rights Center (MIRC) will explain the allegations during a press conference at the ACLU of Michigan offices located at 1514 Wealthy St. SE at 2 p.m.
The allegations stem from an incident where a Marine veteran was arrested last fall after getting onto a hospital roof and setting a fire. He was experiencing a PTSD episode. Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, 27, was held for deportation after the arrest despite him being a U.S. citizen and having a U.S. passport to prove his citizenship.
The decorated police captain who called immigration services was placed on administrative leave back in February while the department conducted an internal investigation. Capt. Curt Vanderkooi was reinstated Monday, April 27.
The internal investigation determined that Vanderkooi did not violate departmental policy, but that he did use unprofessional language when communicating with immigration officials about Ramos-Gomez.
The ACLU and MIRC plan to release video they obtained through a FOIA request they say proves GRPD knew Ramos-Gomez was a U.S. citizen when he was held for three days and nearly deported.
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