GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — UPDATE 6/12/2022, 6:03 p.m.: Saturday, members of the protest group reached out alleging the city was not telling the whole story.
In an interview with 13 ON YOUR SIDE, DeeDee Grier - one of the protestors who confronted the City Manager – said no weapons were present, nor were any threats made. He says the city’s statement was meant to intimidate community members.
“I think that the reason why you were sent to release in regards to weapons and threats being held against Mark Washington at his property was simply a tactic to get us to stop, slow down and be terrified," Grier said. Grier nor any of the protest group members present were able to provide video of Friday’s incident.
13 ON YOUR SIDE has attempted to acquire security camera footage from the building, but was not able to. We have not seen photos of videos that would verify the claims by protestors or by the city.
A spokesperson for the city said the incident has been turned over to the Grand Rapids Police Department.
ORIGINAL STORY: The Grand Rapids City Manager, Mark Washington, says that a group of about 15-20 people harassed him in front of a private residence in Grand Rapids Friday night.
The group was demanding that Washington re-arrest and fire Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr, who was recently charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya.
“Last night, a group of 15-20 people begin aggressively knocking on the door in a private residential section of a mixed use building. Using a bullhorn, they were demanding I re-arrest and fire Officer Schurr and making threatening remarks towards me. As I’ve dedicated my life to public service, I’m no stranger to public scrutiny and criticism but that doesn’t mean my family and I are not entitled to the same expectation of privacy and safety in our own home as anyone else. I did not engage with the individuals and have notified GRPD of the incident as some were armed with weapons," said Washington in a statement.
The Grand Rapids Police Department said that they responded to a disturbance on Monroe Ave in Downtown Grand Rapids on Friday evening around 8:15 p.m.
"These types of tactics and attempts to harass and intimidate will not be tolerated nor will bullying impact my judgement in carrying out my duties as City Manager," Washington added.
Officer Schurr was arraigned in Grand Rapids 61st District Court on a second-degree murder charge Friday afternoon. Prior to the arraignment, he was suspended without pay, pending his termination hearing next week.
Judge Nicholas S. Ayoub set Schurr's bond at $100,000 cash surety and he bonded out Friday afternoon, according to the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office.
"I made that decision because I believe it was the right thing and not because of the obnoxious tactics of a handful of confrontational activists who tried to intimidate me and my family into action," Washington said about his decision.
"I have reported the incident to the police and do not wish to comment further at this time as I am committed to following the legal and judicial process as well as improving public safety for all community members but this type of behavior on private property is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it.”
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