GVSU Releases Statement on Student Shooting; Protests Continue

Stop Police Violence at GVSU

After several days of near silence, Grand Valley State University (GVSU) has issued a statement in response to the shooting of an unarmed student at an off-campus apartment.

In the statement, the University expresses says that it is formally requesting more information from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and is calling for a thorough investigation:

“To our faculty, staff, and students:

Last week the West Michigan Drug Enforcement Team, comprised of the Michigan State Police and Ottawa County Sheriff, conducted a search at an apartment in Georgetown Township, south of Grand Valley’s main campus in Allendale. During this event, a Grand Valley student, Derek Copp of Spring Arbor, Michigan, was shot by one of the law enforcement officers.

The fact that this incident took place off-campus diminishes neither my interest nor my concern. The university’s campus security staff was not involved. Like many of you, I await a full and complete explanation from law enforcement, and I have made a formal request for such information. I want to know what brought the Enforcement Team to Derek’s apartment and why a firearm was discharged.

I want to wish Derek a complete recovery. My office has been in touch with Derek to offer any accommodation that may be needed in furtherance of his studies. As of today, Derek remains hospitalized in Grand Rapids.


Thomas J. Haas


The University further attempted to defend its silence on the shooting by saying that it made all of the information that it had available the night of the shooting.

Protests Continue; University Statement only First Demand

Even as GVSU issued the statement, student protests against the shooting continued, with a protest at the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department today.

A statement from the university denouncing the incident was the first demand of students. Students have further said that they want GVSU to take action against the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and take the lead in addressing statewide discrepancies in penalties dealing with the use of recreational drugs.

Students are planning a march on Friday in downtown Grand Rapids against the shooting.


Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org