Grand Rapids approves settlement with veteran detained by ICE

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids commissioners approved a deal to settle a lawsuit by the family of a U.S. citizen who was wrongly detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement last year.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the commission signed off on a $190,000 payment to Jilmar Ramos-Gomez. The Marine veteran was arrested on Nov. 21, 2018, after police say he started a fire in a stairwell at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital and broke through security to get to the helipad.

Despite having his driver’s license and passport, Grand Rapids Police Captain Kurt VanderKooi contacted federal agents about the case. In an email to ICE, VanderKooi asked for a check of Ramos-Gomez’s immigration status, calling him at one point, “loco.”

An internal investigation exonerated Captain VanderKooi, since he was serving as liaison to ICE, but an appeal to the Civilian Appeals Board overturned that decision. City Manager Mark Washington decided to suspend VanderKooi for 20 hours without pay.

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11 comments

  • mike

    Paying this loco idiot anything after he started a fire and broke through a secure area is maddening..guess that is why you people voted for Mayor Bliss again..keep the crazy people and spend almost 200k to appease one mentally disturbed veteran.

    • masimo33

      You are ignoring the obvious. The police captain called ICE who detained him even though he had a driver license and passport. I suspect had he been a white vet the story would have been very different.

    • masimo33

      You are conflating the two issues. This article is about a police captain calling ICE on a US vet who had a driver’s license and passport and hence wrongfully detained. All because his name was Ramos-Gomez

  • lml25

    Media ignored the crime Gomez committed–focusing on the bigger agenda—make GR a sanctuary city. Did Gomez have a trial,plead guilty,serve a sentence?Nothing on that.Does Scripps really own this station?I haven’t seen any change in writing bias by the reporters.

  • Dimitry

    And I thought you Trump lovers cared about veterans? Obviously he is suffering from the effects of war, which you dumb dumbstruck wouldn’t know anything about. Time to take care of our vets.

  • lml25

    Not only do vets have PTSD(if that’s what caused this arson attempt),but it seems half of the country does too.Just because you’re a vet,a black,an illegal Mex,a Muslim–or a white–and you have mental illness–doesn’t mean you don’t have to obey the law.The cop was exonerated internally–but city manager Washington pushed for punishment–he wanted VanderKooi out. Now that we’re sanctuary,we can let illegals do what they want without fear of ICE.Wonderful.Wrong solution.

    • tiredofthecrapola

      Or open yet another horrible Mexican restaurant on the West side. One thing for sure, he’s set a fine example for other non wypeepol – You can commit crimes, tell the cops you’re an illegal, and when they take you at your word, and detain you until it can be verified, you can sue – thanks to the ACLU, and get paid cause you’ve been “wronged” and 30 plus years of exemplary service will be dragged through the mud. He should be ashamed for what he did – but he’s not…

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