Officer Who Hit Protester With Flashbang Canister Gets Suspended
During the protests on, May 30, 2020, in Grand Rapids, an officer that fired a flashbang canister at very close range has been suspended.
When you walk in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, you can still see the remnants of the protest that turned into a riot at the end of May. So much has been happening with COVID-19 since then, it seems like the protest happened much longer ago.
Maybe its the Donald Trump ad for president where they use the footage from Grand Rapids of the young girl trying smashing the window of the Michigan Secretary of State Building on Division Avenue at Fulton Street that makes the incident seem so far away.
Needless to say it was all something that none of us will ever forget. I know I stayed up until 3 a.m. watching the events unfold on television in real time.
It was later in the night when things turned violent downtown and that is when an officer was caught on film spraying a man with mace then firing a flashbang canister at the man at close range.
According to WOOD, after the Grand Rapids Police Department completed their investigation on the officer, Phillip Reinink, internal affairs determined the officer used unreasonable force in dealing with the suspect.
GRPD Chief Eric Payne has since suspended Reinink for two days without pay over the incident involving the canister. This coming after the Kent County Prosecutor declined to bring charges against him.
Reinink did believe he had a muzzle blast in the chamber of his launcher at the time since the canisters look almost exactly the same. He even noted that he fired the wrong one in his report.
I hope moving forward that when it comes to protesting, protesters will do so peacefully and that police departments have learned from all of this on how to better control the city when people are protesting.