During a protest yesterday at the Ottawa County Police Department, GVSU students protesting the shooting of an unarmed student last week during a drug investigation were able to meet briefly with the police.
According to a message on Facebook:
“the real news is that after two hours of protesting we met with the police. Everyone involved was very calm and cooler head prevailed. They have agreed to work with us to make sure this never happens again. However, dont assume that they are doing this out the goodness of their hearts, they are only working with us because of the enormous polictical pressure from all around them forcing their hand.”
The meeting with Lt. Mark Bennett provided few additional details–the police would not discuss specifics of the case nor would they say when an investigation would be completed. However, the officer pledged to release the results of Sheriff’s Department and State Police investigations.
Deputy Refusing to Talk
According to media reports, the Ottawa County Deputy who shot Derek Copp is not speaking with Michigan State Police officers investigating the shooting. He is doing so at the advice of police union lawyers. The Police Officers Association reportedly told him within hours of the shooting not to speak with investigators.
According to the union, the deputy is required by contract to give a statement to any internal sheriff’s department investigation that could impact his job, but that statement cannot be used by prosecutors to file criminal charges. Thus far, no statement has been requested.
Family Hires Lawyer
In response to the shooting, Copp’s family has hired a lawyer with experience in representing people shot by police. The lawyer–Fred Dilley–won a $1.2 million settlement over the 1987 shooting of a man by the Grand Rapids Police Department.
Thus far, Dilley has made few specific comments about the case to the media, aside from saying he has concerns about how the warrant was served and how the decision to use deadly force was made.