The NAACP chapter in Grand Rapids, Michigan further pushed their local police department Thursday to change its practices involving community members after five unarmed Black teens were stopped and searched at gunpoint in March, reports MLive.
“We question whether or not if this was five white male youth coming from a Christian middle school, high school, in the same scenario, whether you’d have a different end result,” NAACP Grand Rapids branch President Cle Jackson.
Together with the greater Grand Rapids branch of the NAACP, LINC UP and the Micah Center issued a joint statement Thursday, April 6, stating the police officers acted in a way that perpetuates mistrust and instills fear in residents.
“Collectively, we are calling for a change in Grand Rapids policing practices to ensure that no other children will unnecessarily go through the traumatic experience that these children did, and that our community as a whole is not subjected to this type of racism,” the statement reads. “We call on the police to work with the parents to ensure that the issues that are raised about this particular incident are addressed to the families’ satisfaction…”
The NAACP and other community organizers — who expressed support for the families of the teens stopped by police — will attend an April 11 city commission meeting to further discuss police reform, reports WOOD TV-8.