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City releases phone recordings involving investigation of crash of former prosecutor

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The City of Grand Rapids has released the recordings of five phone conversations between the police officers who investigated the November 2016 crash of former Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Josh Kuiper.

The release of the recordings follows a state Court of Appeals ruling on a lawsuit filed by MLive Media Group, which sought immediate release of the phone calls under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA. The City originally denied the FOIA request as it waited for a federal court to determine if the release of the conversations would violate the Federal Wiretapping Act.

The five phone conversations took place on what was thought to be an unrecorded line at the Grand Rapids Police Department. The actions of the police officers involved in the conversations resulted in disciplinary action against all three of them – one was terminated, one was demoted and put on a 160-hour unpaid suspension, and the third received a 160-hour unpaid suspension.

“We are outraged by the actions of these officers,” City Manager Greg Sundstrom said. “The City does not tolerate this type of behavior and, as such, we took swift disciplinary action. Truth and justice have been our focus from the start, and that is why we asked a federal court to weigh in on the release of the five phone conversations. We are now abiding by the state Court of Appeals’ order.”

Sundstrom added the officers’ behavior did not reflect the dedicated men and women of the Grand Rapids Police Department.

“Our police officers hold the community’s trust in the highest regard,” Sundstrom said.

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