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Advocacy groups file civil rights complaint against police

April 30, 2019
American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan senior staff attorney Miriam Aukerman, left, and Michigan Immigrant Rights Center attorney Hillary Scholten speak at a press conference at ACLU of Michigan Offices on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and Michigan Immigrant Rights Center have filed complaints with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights regarding accusations of racial profiling and the Grand Rapids Police Department. (Alyssa Keown/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Immigrant and civil liberties advocacy groups have filed complaints against Grand Rapids police with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights in cases involving people of Latino descent.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center announced the actions on Tuesday. They allege the police department discriminated against a mentally ill war veteran in November and a 15-year-old boy last month.

The groups say in a release the department “can’t be trusted to police itself.”

They allege an officer violated the man’s rights by contacting immigration officials even though he’s a U.S. citizen. They add another officer did the same by drawing a gun on the teen, who jaywalked and pulled away when grabbed.

A spokeswoman for the city says its attorneys will review the complaints once they are received.

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