Grand Rapids police officer to be discharged following March incident

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Screen image of National and California NW incident

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids police officer has been suspended without pay pending his discharge for an incident of excessive force in March.

Interim Chief of Police David Kiddle placed officer Drew Rau on leave immediately after the March 17 incident.

Rau was seen on video striking the legs of a driver after a traffic stop near California Street and National Avenue NW. He was also heard cursing at the man during the arrest.  Body cameras worn by police were used during the incident and were reviewed by investigators.

The department says that the Internal Affairs investigation determined Rau committed several violations of department policy.

Kiddle also asked for a Michigan State Police review for potential criminal charges against Rau, but the Kent County Prosecutor reviewed the case and declined to file charges.

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  • steve

    In no way am I trying to excuse what the cop did. But, it’s too bad that we weren’t there when he told the victim to get out of his car. We don’t know what was said and what may have gone on inside the car before the window was broken out.Nor do we know what might have happened if he had gotten out of the car when he was told to. In situations like this, I remember the late Paul Harvey’s words “in a minute, you’re going to hear the rest of the story”. Sad, but true.

  • lml25

    …except we DON’T hear the rest of story.I remember not too long ago,California nw and National was Polish.Thank you mayors Bliss and Heartwell for ruining an entire section of Grand Rapids–and it’s not over yet.

    • C

      I know several residents of the west side, and most of them are in agreement as to the main reason for the deterioration of the area over many years. As the elderly Polish aged and passed away, they often left their properties to their children. Their middle aged and younger children had their own houses in the suburbs and didn’t want to move back so they either sold the houses at ridiculously low prices or turned them into rental properties. Draw your own conclusions about the result, but those circumstances often attract people that don’t have the old time west side Polish values, and it’s too bad.

    • C

      I tried to share with you a few opinions of people I know that live on the west side. Either the censor didn’t like what they’ve told me over the years or knows more than some long time residents of the area because the comment got trashed.

      • lml25

        The “west side” is not an accurate description of that area anymore,that is,it used to be more of an ethnic description of that section of town,more than a locale.To be accurate now,it resembles the SE side-which spread over the west side–thanks to our political leaders.allowing it to happen,with policies that favor low income housing–including section 8.

        • Unslaved

          Without police, who would enforce what politicians have decided is “the best for us?” Politicians aren’t the problem, the religious reverence that Joe Shmoe has for anyone wearing a badge and the behavior that results from that belief is the real problem.

  • stop the madness

    I am holding out hope the revitalization of Fulton and Bridge Streets will push the rats back out of my beloved westside.

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