Family, commissioner outraged after girl cuffed by GRPD

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kent County commissioner is criticizing the Grand Rapids Police Department for how officers treated a 12-year-old black child while investigating reports of a shooting.

Police say a 911 call came in around 9 p.m. Oct. 9 reporting that someone had been shot on Batavia Place NE off of Fulton Street. That turned out to be wrong, but while investigating, officers called out the family that was inside the home where it had reportedly happened.

Rennae Wooten and her children were among those inside. She said she was terrified.

"I said … 'Do not move!'" Wooten recalled telling her children. "I'm scared. Ya'll (police) got guns pointed at my kids."

Wooten said she was most upset about how her 12-year-old daughter was treated.

"They had her walk backwards. … They put her on her hands and knees and put her in handcuffs. … They said, 'How old are you?' She said 12. The officer said, 'Take the handcuffs off of her,'" Wooten described.

Wooten and police agree that the child was only handcuffed for a few moments, but Wooten said damage was still done.

"She's scared," she said. "She ain't been to school since this happened."

The family alerted radio host, activist and Kent County Commissioner Robert S. Womack about what happened. Several days later, he went public with his criticism of the police in a post on Facebook.

"Grand Rapids police should be embarrassed," Womack told 24 Hour News 8 Monday. "This is just another kid that's 12 years old whose whole impression of the police has been shattered because she's 12 years old, she was in handcuffs."

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