April 14, 2022
Chief Eric Winstrom
1 Monroe Center St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
I am a fellow citizen of Michigan who works in, pays taxes to, and enjoys the City of Grand Rapids. As a taxpayer I am exercising my right to convey to you my thoughts on the Patrick Lyoya crisis. It is, indeed, a crisis.
I try to see the good in all people. I live my life assuming positive intent in all interactions until proven otherwise. Chief I believe that you are sincere in your statements that you wish to be transparent and that you wish to reform the police department. As a taxpayer I intend to hold you accountable to those statements.
As a taxpayer I do not wish my tax monies to be spent on the salary or defense of the Officer involved in this crisis. The Officer violated at least one, if not multiple, rules and regulations of the GRPD. The video clearly shows that the Officer assaulted a Citizen during an alleged traffic violation. City Rules and Regulations Page 2 Paragraph 8
The Officer violated at least one, if not multiple, rules and regulations regarding traffic enforcement as documented in GRPD policy. Specifically the Officer failed to properly greet the driver and explain the reason for the stop, and the Officer did not treat the subject with respect or courtesy. Manual of Procedures - Traffic Enforcement - 3b - Conduct
The Officer violated policy 11.1 of the Manual of Conduct by assaulting a citizen of Grand Rapids who was not acting aggressively towards the Officer. The Officer violated policy 18.1 A where their actions have brought disrepute into the Department. Manual of Conduct - Policy 18.1A
The actions of your Officer and your Department are detrimental and the opposite of both the Mission Statement and the Vision Statement of the Department.
“Protect life and property, prevent crime, and ensure all people feel safe and are safe at all times throughout our community.” GRPD Mission Statement
“In partnership with our community, we will become the safest mid-sized city and most trusted police department in the United States.” GRPD Vision Statement
The actions of the Officer and the Department do not uphold the Mission or Vision and therefore the Officer and the Department have failed in both the Mission and the Vision. The actions have instead taken life, made the community unsafe, and has reduced the trust even further.
The Officer broke the first Value of the Department by assaulting a fellow citizen and turning a safe situation into an unsafe situation which resulted in the death of a fellow citizen. This is unacceptable. “Service –Through compassion, empathy and courage, we are driven to meet the public safety needs of our community”
For all the attested reasons, and as the video evidence has clearly shown, the Officer is not fit for duty as a law enforcement officer in this or any jurisdiction. I call on you to relieve the Officer of all duties for violating department policy and assaulting a Citizen. I call on you to exercise the values of Integrity and Accountability as reflected in GRPD policy.
For the community to heal - to truly heal - there must be integrity, accountability, and trust. This requires the Department to make different choices and to earn back that trust by having integrity and being accountable to the Citizens of this great city. It will also require a change in the culture of the Department. Culture is the embodiment of beliefs, values, and behaviors of an organization. The exhibited behaviors betray the Mission and Values. Thus to enable healing you, as the leader, must change the culture of the Department that you lead.
You cannot change the past. You can make a different choice today. A better choice today can lead to an even better tomorrow.
Richard Maloley II