GRPD chief, watchdog, city attorney talk policing in online panel

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Officials will discuss policing in Grand Rapids during a virtual panel Friday.

The noon event is streaming live on Facebook and YouTube, and is also available in Spanish.

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The community is hearing from Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Payne, Oversight and Public Accountability Director Brandon Davis and City Attorney Anita Hitchcock. City Manager Mark Washington will also be on hand.

You can call in to ask questions and comment via 311 or 616.456.3000.

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week has sparked protests about police brutality and calling for reform around the country. Grand Rapids has seen its share of those protests, including a huge one Wednesday during which Payne knelt with demonstrators in a show of solidarity.

Davis, who has held the police watchdog position since August but only in a permanent capacity since May, told News 8 earlier this week that he approaches the role with “compassion and empathy” and with the goal of effecting “real, meaningful change.”