Holland, MI – A local minister criticized police as she recorded them conducting a high-risk traffic stop in her church parking lot, but now the agency has responded with the background behind the video (video below.)
Holland police stopped a vehicle which contained a suspect who was involved in a domestic incident involving a gun earlier in the day at about 6:15 pm on May 4.
Reverend Denise Kingdom Grier said she was in her office at the church and heard shouts from police in the parking lot.
She looked out the window to see what was happening and saw officers with weapons drawn, WOOD reported.
Having no idea what was going on, Kingdom Grier filmed and narrated the traffic stop on Facebook Live. Nothing from the stop could be heard on the video.
Much to her surprise, one of the men that police removed from the suspect vehicle at gunpoint was her nephew.
“Okay, so here’s another one. Who’s this? Lord have mercy. Why is that my nephew? Jesus keep us please,” Kingdom Grier said as she watched the incident unfold.
“So now how I’m supposed to feel? I’m standing here and he’s got this rifle pointed at my third son. Lord have mercy, what is really going on?” she asked on the video.
When the video began, there were several police cars were in the church parking lot and there was a suspect vehicle in the center of the parking that the police appeared to be removing the passengers from, one at a time.
The video showed at least two officers in the process of arresting a suspect. The man was walking backwards towards officers with his hands on his head.
The suspect appeared to be complying with police commands as he went to his knees and then into a prone position on the pavement next to a police SUV.
Then the video showed officer brought the suspect to his feet and walked him off in handcuffs, presumably to put him into a patrol vehicle, before removing the next passenger from the vehicle and repeating the process. The next passenger was Kingdom Grier’s family member.
Police removed four people between the ages of 19 and 23 years old from the vehicle at gunpoint, according to a Facebook post by the Holland Police Department on May 5.
During the traffic stop, Holland police nabbed the suspect in the earlier domestic violence incident and arrested him.
Police said the suspect was charged with domestic assault and felon in possession of a firearm. He also had an unrelated warrant for his arrest, according to the Holland PD’s Facebook post.
The driver was also arrested, cited and released for a driving offense, police said.
“For clarification, when there is a suspect of a crime where a gun was used, and it is believed that the suspect and gun are in the car, we consider that a high risk stop,” Holland PD added as a comment to their original post. “This stop was handled as any high risk stop would be where all occupants are removed at gunpoint until the gun is recovered and it is considered safe. Race doesn’t change that, gender doesn’t change that, we are consistent with handling a high risk situation that way.”
The other two passengers, one of whom Kingdom Grier identified as her nephew, were released approximately 20 minutes after the stop, police said.
“The fact that it’s my nephew exacerbates it on a personal level, but I really want to be clear that I’m outraged by the level of what I perceive as injustice,” Kingdom Grier told WOOD.
She said she understood that the stop was dangerous for police and did not question whether the officers had followed proper protocol.
However, Kingdom Grier said she believed the policies might be the problem.
“No one should have a rifle pointed to their head when they’re in a defenseless position,” Kingdom Grier said. “So, if that is their practice — black or white or any other race — I take issue with that practice.”
You can see the video of the stop below. NOTE: It’s uneventful because the officers did a great job: