Illegal Pursuits by Kentwood Police Need to Stop!
Illegal Pursuits by Kentwood Police Need to Stop!
On the night of February 25.2021, I was at Gun Lake when I noticed two officers watching me. At around 10:15 PM, I left Gun Lake when the officers were not present. When I attempted to cruise down Division street southbound with an earpiece in my ear on the phone with my wife; I noticed sirens (police lights) in my rearview mirror. I alerted my concerned wife who was present on the phone about the sirens in my rearview mirror and assured her that I wouldn't be stopped by the police because I was driving the speed limit with my headlights on and valid vehicle registration and tags.
The police officer stopped me on Division and Maplelawn headed Southbound. After noticing that I was being pulled over I proceeded to pull into a parking lot across from Brann's Steakhouse & Grille (located at 4157 Division Ave S. Wyoming, MI 49548). The police approached my vehicle and stated that " After having searched my license plate in the database the system assured him that my license plate was stolen from Missouri. I explained to the officer that the system must be experiencing issues because my car registration is updated and valid. I then asked the officer for permission to reach in my glove box to retrieve my documents. The officer agreed to let me retrieve my items from my glove box unharmed. After retrieving my items the officer then proceeded to ask for my driver's license; in which I assured the stopping officer that my vehicle is registered in my brother's name as I proceeded to hand him my license.
The officer received my license and immediately assured me that my license had been suspended. The officer then proceeded to take me by force out of my car to handcuff me then put me in the back of his patrol car. While sitting in the back seat of the patrol car, I noticed an officer come to the scene and spoke briefly to the present officer before leaving the scene. The present officer heard me speaking to my wife and he asked me " whom am I speaking with"; I explained to the officer that I was speaking to my wife who has been on the phone with me this whole incident via wireless headphones. The officer then proceeded to ask if I had anyone to pick up my vehicle for me and that he could impound my car due to my license being suspended. I explained to the officer that I did indeed have someone available with a valid license to pick up my car and I also explained to the officer that the reason for stopping my car wasn't a valid reason and that the stop has been unlawful and I made sure the officer was aware of the fact that I knew I wasn't speeding and my car wasn't stolen and or in connection with anything or anyone in Missouri. I also told the officer that I knew he was falsifying information pretraining from the database search of my vehicle license plate.
The officer then asked if he could have permission to search my vehicle and I told the officer no because he doesn't have a valid reason to stop my vehicle. I told the officer again that he wasn't telling the truth about the vehicle being stolen and I asked the officer how could he identify me as the driver of the vehicle before the stop if the vehicle is registered in my brother's name. At this time my concerned wife and stepdaughter arrived to pick up my vehicle in which the officer proceeded to ask my wife for her driver's license, My wife was so in disbelief at the incident taking place that she had misplaced her license in her purse. The officer asked my wife if the vehicle she arrived in hers and my wife assured the officer it was her vehicle. The officer then searched my wife's license plate in the system and told her that she has an active warrant in Saginaw. The officer then asked my wife if she had ever attended Saginaw Valley and my wife explained that her daughter went to Saginaw Valley from 2009 to 2012 and that any tickets about Saginaw were her daughter's mistakes. The officer then proceeded to let me out of the back of his patrol car and took the handcuffs off me and issued me a ticket for a suspended license, then the officer proceeded to take my brother's license plate off of his vehicle. After leaving the scene, I explained in detail to my wife the incident involving the traffic stop and the fact that the officer didn't have a bodycam present, and the falsification of all information related to my brother's license plate. I expressed the gratitude of knowing that my wife was present on the phone during the traffic stop because the stop was overall illegal and I feared for my life. I decided the next day that I needed a lawyer to help fight this suspended license ticket.
After finding a reasonable attorney to represent my case the first hearing (April 20, 2021, @ 2:45 PM) took place via Zoom. The second hearing I was alerted about the same day via text message from my lawyer about a pretrial that was set that afternoon (May 11, 2021 ) in which he attended the pretrial. On June 1st at 3:30 PM, I had to appear in court, which is when I heard my lawyer call out to the officer who initiated the stop. My wife who stepped out of the courtroom at the moment to use the restroom saw my lawyer leave a conference room with the officer who initiated the stop. At that moment I began to become suspicious about my attorney and the officer's relationship because the attorney whom I hired was talking to the officer instead of talking to his client and explaining things to me. After the lawyer and officer conversation, my lawyer presented me with a plea bargaining for my case in which I declined. My attorney then proceeded to call the initiating officer to the stand in which the officer stated in front of the courtroom that he made a mistake with the traffic stop and the officer had no proof to support his claims.
The officer stated that he was stationed somewhere in which he was flagging every car that went by and my plate had returned as stolen when he searched it in the database. The officer then began to state in front of the courtroom under oath that he forgot to print out the stolen report and that he stopped my vehicle under good faith and intentions.
I am in disbelief that the officer admitted on the stand under oath that he made the wrong stop in good faith and the judge agreed with him. After seeing the judge's reaction I explained to my lawyer that I wanted a Jury Trial. At that moment my lawyer appeared to be in shock. After noticing the look on my lawyer's face my wife told the lawyer that she was concerned about his methods used in the courtroom since he did little to defend me in the courtroom that day. Since that trial, my lawyer hasn't returned any of my phone calls.
At this present moment, I feel that the initiating officer of the stop is indeed prejudiced and doesn't deserve his job. The police officer was racially profiling and in violation of my rights. I feel as if the only reason that I was stopped by the officer was that I identify as African American. I am very grateful to have been on the phone with my wife during the traffic stop because she acted as a witness on my behalf as I feared for my life. In 2018 had an aneurysm which resulted in surgery and continued stress management therapy. I have been stressed and worried every day since the initial stop took place. I would appreciate it if you can help with this case because I am in desperate need of another lawyer.
The lawyer that was representing my case told me that the judge personally knows the officer and that is why she sided with the officer despite valid evidence and or reasoning. The truth of the matter is that my lawyer and the cops and the judge are friends because my wife saw them leaving a conference room together during my trial. I have enough reason to believe that my lawyer cannot be trusted and that my lawyer may be double-crossing me. I could have easily been the next George Floyd Help This has to Stop Now !!!!!