This WZZM 13 story is based upon the court arraignment of people who were arrested by Grand Rapids Police during an anti-war demonstration on March 17. First, there are some inaccuracies. Hermann Kurthen was not “using a megaphone in a residential area which is against a city ordinance.” Therefore the statement “When police asked him to stop, officers say he resisted arrest,” is also inaccurate as he was not the person they arrested with those charges.
The story is framed at the very beginning with biased language when they say “after an anti-war rally got out of hand.” This is similar to the language they used in a March 17 story when they said “but some police in Grand Rapids said this group went too far.”
There is also no context to this story other than to say that the arrests took place “on March 17th during an anti-war rally in Grand Rapids.” There is no mention of the group that organized the anti-war demonstration, nor what their reasons for being opposed to the war are. The only source used in this story appears to be the Grand Rapids Police Department. Viewers did not hear from any anti-war organizers, the Professor cited in the story, nor the other two people who were arraigned in court with the Professor that same day. WZZM 13 either got this information from a Grand Rapids Press story from that day or an update from the courts since they were not in the courtroom during the arraignment. This writer was there and only saw a photographer from the Grand Rapids Press.
Grand Rapids – A Grand Valley Professor faces charges after an anti- war rally got out of hand.
Hermann Kurthen, 54, was arraigned Monday on assault, battery and obstruction charges.
Kurthen is a Sociology Professor at GVSU. Police arrested him on March 17th during an anti-war rally in Grand Rapids.
Officers say he was using a megaphone in a residential area which is against a city ordinance.
When police asked him to stop, officers say he resisted arrest.
Kurthen pleaded not guilty.