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Rapid Response Alert - GrandRapids, MI

MOBB United for Social Change urges the City of Grand Rapids to push forward on urgently needed police reforms


Background: M.O.B.B. United for Social Change is calling members to contact the city of Grand Rapids Michigan to urge them to do a close review of the police department's policies and procedures after a recent incident where, on March 24th on their way home from a basketball game, five unarmed black children were profiled by police and confronted at gunpoint by the police.  

Coming out of the incident, the police insisted that there was no wrong doing and that they were simply responding to a witness report of seeing one of the boys with a gun.  It was only until 15 days later, upon the release of body camera footage made by a public information request, that video footage revealed there was no weapon present, the police made no attempt to investigate or engage the boys in a nonviolent way and immediately drew their weapons on the children upon arrival to the scene.  

A recent racial profiling traffic stop study on the Grand Rapids police shows what mothers of black boys know all too well; the police are twice as likely to stop a black driver than a non black driver.  Our sons deserve better and M.O.B.B. United for Social Change will continue to monitor the situation in Grand Rapids and urge local officials to ensure that significant reforms are undertaken.  We need moms to mobilize now.

Contact the following Grand Rapids city officials and let them know that you are concerned for the welfare of your son(s). 

Mayor, Rosalynn Bliss
[email protected]

City Manager, Greg Sundstrom
[email protected]

We are urging M.O.B.B. United for Social Change members to call now.  Tonight (Tuesday 5/9) the Grand Rapids city Commission will have its regularly scheduled meeting.  Ask these representatives, why this issue isn't on the agenda for discussion?

Here are talking points for a conversation with city representatives:

  • My name is  _____________________  I'm calling from MOBB United for Social Change
  • MOBB United has brought together over 170,000 concerned mothers who want to change the perceptions of black men and black boys and impact policies that negatively affect our sons - black boys and black men.
  • I am calling to urge Grand Rapids City commission and Mayor Bliss to further examine the March 24th incident where police officers surrounded 5 black children and pulled their weapons on them.
  • The safety of our sons must be an agenda item. 
  • Though we are aware the mayor and city commission are examining recent events and reviewing the police department's policies and procedures, the community needs continued visibility into these events.  
  • At it's next meeting, today, the commission should report out on how the current discussions are progressing.
  • Additionally, I am calling to request that the commission be intentional in including community members as part of the process.  Representatives and community organization leaders will not suffice.  
  • Specifically, the mayor and commission should appoint a family member of the children involved in the March 24th incident to the public safety committee that is advising on these issues.  
  • I am a mom of a black boy and I am concerned about police profiling.  Recently released data show that Grand Rapids police are twice as likely to stop a black driver than a nonblack driver.
  • What will you - city manager / mayor - do to ensure our sons are protected?