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Family accuses GRPD of systematic racism | News

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Family accuses GRPD of systematic racism
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The family of a Grand Rapids teenager not only wants the police to pay for beating the 15 year old boy, their lawsuit also demands the department change the way they treat young African Americans.

The suit filed in federal court says police beat up 15 year old "D-B" after the teenager ran from officers investigating a tip there was someone in the area with a gun.

Police say they found a gun in the vicinity, but the 15 year old was unarmed.

The charge "resisting and obstructing a police officer" was dismissed by a judge.

A jury found the teenager not guilty on a "carrying a concealed weapon" charge.

Family attorney Keeley Heath says police not only violated the teenager's civil rights, but the city condones this kind of unconstitutional treatment of young African American men.

"We are going to do everything we can to hold police accountable and effectuate some change within the police department," she says. "Hopefully be part of the movement to stop the systemic racism we are seeing within the police department."

The policeman accused of beating the teenager with his fists and a flashlight and two officers who did not intervene are named in the lawsuit. A spokesman for the city says they are reviewing the allegations and until that is complete any comment on the lawsuit would be premature.


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