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GRPD Podcast is the latest tool in an ongoing effort to control the narrative around policing in Grand Rapids

December 1, 2022

The Grand Rapids Police Department continues to engage in deceptive tactics, meant to convince the public that they ultimately serve them, to distract us, and to make sure that we are not thinking about the real function of policing in Grand Rapids and beyond.

In September of 2021, the GRPD began a new media project called the GRPD Podcast. The language the GRPD uses to describe the show is this:

A behind the scenes look of the Grand Rapids Police Department, its people, how they operate and their experiences serving and protecting the community. The GRPD is dedicated to community engagement, transparency and information sharing with everyone from our media partners to community stakeholders. If you have suggestions for topics to discuss or guests to be interviewed, please contact us at TrustGRPD@grcity.us 

What is instructive about the description of the show, is the language they use, such as, “serving and protecting the community”, along with “community engagement, transparency and information sharing.” Since the podcast began they have only produced 5 episodes and only one since the GRPD murdered Patrick Lyoya in April. The most recent podcast, which aired on November 25th, featured Police Chief Eric Winstrom. 

Episode 5 of the GRPD Podcast was just over 40 minutes, where the host asked Chief Winstrom softball questions like, “what do you think of Grand Rapids” and “how did you decide to become a police officer.” In fact, most of the show had nothing to do with the supposed transparency that the podcast is supposed to practice. However, there were some comments that Winstrom made that are worth pointing out.

At about 12:10 into the podcast, when talking about the 2020 riot in Chicago (where Winstrom was before he came to GR) Winstrom referred to the riots as “George Floyd riots.” Let’s be painfully clear that the uprising that took place in Chicago, Grand Rapids and all around the world was because of the police murder of George Floyd. It should more accurately be called the Derek Chauvin created riots of 2020, since he is the cop who killed George Floyd. It would be appropriate to refer to the 2020 uprising as the George Floyd uprising, since his murder inspired people to take action. Words matter Chief Winstrom.

At about 15:30 into the podcast, Winstrom talked about how use of force training in Chicago didn’t happen very often. Winstrom then said that Grand Rapids has an amazing culture of police training. So how was that training applied when the GRPD murdered Patrick Lyoya?

At about 26:50 into the podcast, Winstrom makes the claim that, “everything we do is because the community wants it.” What evidence does Winstrom have? The top cop in GR then said that his department people are always asking the community, “How do you want to be policed,” and they overwhelmingly say “we want to see the police.” Again, how about some evidence.

At about 31:50 into the podcast, Winstrom said, “we need more cops.” 

At about 34:20 into the podcast, was the first time that Winstrom even bothered to mention the Patrick Lyoya case. However, Chief Winstrom never mentioned Patrick by name, instead he simply called it “an officer involved shooting in April.” Winstrom, the GRPD and City officials DO NOT Want to Say HIs NAME!

This GRPD podcast is nothing more than another tool of propaganda, meant to dumb us down or lull us into thinking that the GRPD really cares about the well being of the public. You can tell it is a tool of propaganda, because of their use of language, what they say and what they don’t say. Their podcast is designed to be part of a larger effort to control the narrative about policing in Grand Rapids, which they have always been about, but have ramped that effort up since the 2020 uprising in Grand Rapids.

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