The lawyer for a GVSU student shot by police last week during a drug investigation has issued a statement saying that the investigation turned up only a few tablespoons of marijuana:
“I have been asked what drugs may have been seized by those executing the search warrant at Derek Copp’s apartment. To my knowledge, the raid resulted in the seizure of a few tablespoonfuls of marijuana, and nothing more. The primary concern remains the manner in which this raid was carried out. And the apparent lack of any justification whatsoever for the use of force…much less deadly force…in executing a search warrant.
‘The campus and Allendale communities are asking why? Why burst into a college student’s apartment with a gun drawn for a few tablespoonfuls of pot.'”
GVSU Student Senate Calls for Investigation
Meanwhile, the Grand Valley Student Senate has joined the call for an investigation. It issued a statement reading in part:
“Even though this incident took place off-campus, Student Senate is greatly concerned with the actions of the law enforcement team. Student Senate will await a full and complete explanation from the Michigan State Police. Like all students, we want to know why the West Michigan Drug Enforcement Team entered Derek Copp’s apartment and why a firearm was used.”
This echoes a call from GVSU President Thomas Haas to investigate the shooting. Like the Student Senate, Haas has said that he will take no further action until the results of the investigation are released.
Haas also made it clear that he does not support calls from student protestors to relax drug laws. In The Lanthorn, Haas said “Drugs on or off campus have no place in the community. Illegal drugs are illegal.”
Ottawa County Asks for Special Prosecutor
There has been little comment from police on the incident. The Michigan State Police is investigating and will pass along the results of its investigation to prosecutors who will decide if the shooting as justified.
However, Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz has asked that a Special Prosecutor to be appointed by the Attorney General. Frantz is on the operations board of the West Michigan Enforcement Team that shot Copp.
Reassigning the case could take up to according to The Grand Rapids Press.