- Associated Press - Sunday, July 12, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Police in Grand Rapids are investigating “Defund Police” messages spray-painted on driveways at the homes of city officials and at a government parking garage.

“These bullying and intimidation tactics are unacceptable and won’t be tolerated. This crosses the line,” Police Chief Eric Payne said Saturday.

“There is a process in place for determining our department’s budget, and we must let that process play out,” he said. “There are more productive ways to exercise your right to free speech and have your voice be heard.”

Police released photos of the messages and a picture of a suspect outside one of the targeted homes. Anyone with information can call (616) 774-2345.

A member of the city commission, Milinda Ysasi, has proposed cutting the police budget by $9 million. Public comment on the plan lasted more than four hours at a meeting last week, but action was stalled because of procedural issues, MLive.com reported.



The budget cut could cause dozens of layoffs, according to the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association and Grand Rapids Police Command Officers Association.

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