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Grand Rapids Police Officer’s Association gave $10,000 to a Grand Rapids City Commission Candidate

October 25, 2022

For several years now, GRIID has been monitoring the GRPD’s union around numerous issues, like campaign contributions to candidates running for office in the Grand Rapids area.

Even though GRIID has written about the police union’s campaign contributions for the past 5 years, there has been greater scrutiny of this issue since the 2020 uprising that took place in Grand Rapids and cities all across the country.

In June of 2020, GRIID posted an article that looked at the Grand Rapids Police Officer’s Association PAC contributions since 2014. Numerous Grand Rapids City Commission candidates have received anywhere from $500 to $5000 from the local cop union. 

However, in looking at the most recent campaign finance records for the Grand Rapids Police Officer’s Association PAC, they only provided one contribution to a candidate in 2022. On August 8th of this year, the police union gave $10,000 to Grand Rapids 1st Ward Candidate Drew Robbins.

Robbins, who is running against incumbent Kurt Reppart, has policing as his #1 campaign priority:

Protecting the community is the number one job of any city. I want to help our new Police Chief, Eric Winstrom, make his changes to the department, to transition from warriors to guardians. Good policing starts with good Commissioners. I want to be your voice on the commission to be helpful, not a hinderance, and to make sure we can all feel we are safe.

The pro-policing stance from Robbins has also earned him endorsements from the former Grand Rapids Chief of Police, the Kent County Sheriff, the Grand Rapids Police Officer’s Association and Johnny Brann Sr. Brann is the President of the police apologist group, Voice for the Badge, which has been denouncing anyone calling for the defunding of the GRPD. 

On top of the pro-police position by Robbins, MLive recently revealed that the group SafeGR, has been using Dark Money funds to run a campaign that also denounces anyone who even considers a reduction in the GRPD budget. The SafeGR campaign has also targeted Reppart, even though Robbins claims he is not associated with that group.

As we have been reporting for the past two years, those who are apologists for the GRPD have not only denounced those who are not zealously behind the GRPD, they have used inaccurate and defamatory rhetoric to attack organizations working to radically transform the conversation and the practice of community safety that does not rely on cops. 

Lastly, it is worth noting that the Grand Rapids Police Officer’s Association has a Stand with Schurr graphic as their Facebook page banner. The cop union has not only defended the former cop who murdered Patrick Lyoya, they have defended virtually every instance of police abuse directed against Black and Brown residents in Grand Rapids. The fact that the Grand Rapids Police Officer’s Association PAC has contributed $10,000 to Drew Robbins, the most they have ever given to a political candidate, should tell us something about both Robbins and the police union. 

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