Man punched by ex-GRPD officer sentenced

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man repeatedly punched by a now-fired Grand Rapids police officer during a traffic stop will avoid jail.

Bronquel Brown was sentenced Tuesday to one day in jail but received credit for a day he already served. As part of his sentence, he will have to pay court costs.

As part of a plea agreement, Brown pleaded guilty in October to attempting to resist and obstruct officers for disobeying police orders to exit the vehicle during the stop, leading officers to use a Taser and pepper spray. He was originally charged with resisting and obstructing officers.

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Brown was punched nearly 30 times by former officer Drew Rau during a March 17 traffic stop, the video showed. In police body camera footage obtained by News 8, Brown could be heard yelling “I’m not doing nothing” as Rau continued throwing punches.

Rau was also heard using profanity during the incident, which happened near California Street and National Avenue on the city’s West Side.

Kent County Commissioner Robert S. Womack, who helped Brown’s family post bond, said Brown’s 6-year-old son was in the back seat during the incident.

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A March 18, 2019 photo shows Bronquel Brown during a News 8 interview.

As part of a settlement, Brown received $125,000 from the city. The city also agreed to pay Brown’s mediator’s fee of $1,500.

Rau was suspended from his job after the incident. The city manager determined Rau should be fired immediately based on an internal investigation and recommendation by then-Grand Rapids Interim Police Chief David Kiddle.

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Rau waived his right to a discharge hearing, clearing the way for his firing.