Protesters march against police brutality in GR

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Loved ones of Breonna Taylor and Kavosaye Phillips marched through the streets of downtown Grand Rapids to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

Taylor was a Grand Rapids native. She died March 13 when Louisville officers raided the home she shared with her boyfriend. In September, the grand jury decided to indict one of the officers, former Detective Brett Hankinson, with three wanton endangerment counts for firing his weapon blindly, endangering the neighbors in Taylor’s apartment building. Two other officers were not indicted.

Taylor still has family in the area. They have been vocal in local protests in her name.

Phillips was involved in an altercation with Grand Rapids police back in May, which resulted in his loved ones accusing the Grand Rapids Police Department of using excessive force. Police denied that claim, saying officers followed protocol after Phillips resisted arrest.

The booking photo of Kavosaye Phillips after an incident on May 20, 2020.
The booking photo of Kavosaye Phillips after an incident on May 20, 2020.

Saturday afternoon, both families stood together to demand more transparency and accountability from police everywhere.

“At the end of the day, I just felt that Wanda Macintosh did not receive the kind of justice that she should have for her son’s incident that night. COVID happened at the same time that Breonna was taken from us and the same time her son was assaulted. I think that just cause some pandemic happened that were supposed to brush under the rug the issues and African American communities are dealing with, and we are saying ‘no more,’” said Tawanna Gordon, Taylor’s cousin.

GPRD did release the dashcam and bodycam footage from the night Phillips was arrested. However, protesters say the video doesn’t tell the full story.

Another protest with a different organization is expected to happen Saturday night in downtown. They plan to march from Rosa Park Circle to GRPD’s headquarters for the third week in a row.