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Politics & Government

Grand Rapids considers second look at whether police have racial bias when pulling people over

Grand Rapids police officer directing traffic.
Flickr user lincolnblues
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Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The Grand Rapids City Commission tomorrow will vote on whether to hire an outside consultant to study if its police force is racially biased when pulling over drivers.

A similar study conducted in 2004 found no systemic bias in Grand Rapids. But after the riots in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, people who spoke at community meetings still felt racial targeting was a problem in Grand Rapids. 

That's why city leaders are recommending a second study based on more current data. 

It’s part of a broader effort to improve relations between minority communities and GRPD. Grand Rapids outfitted all officers with body cameras last year as part of the effort.

Now the city will consider spending up to $158,000 to update the study with current data, according to city documents.  

If city commissioners hire the firm, the results would be released early next year.

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