Grand Rapids Police are investigating after officer fired a gun, with the person implicated to be held to account

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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – It’s a moment Daevionne Smith struggles to comprehend even days after it happened.

“The emotions continue,” said Smith, who lives in Grand Rapids. “I really thought I was going to lose my life that night because it’s like, it was like an ambush.”

At around 10:30 p.m. last Thursday, Smith visited his father’s house near the intersection of Cass Avenue and Sycamore Street on the southeast side of town.

However, when he entered, Smith says he found his father asleep and decided to visit him on another day.

Only this time, Smith returned to Grand Rapids Police to surround the house.

According to the department, officers saw a car that “maybe” matched the description of a stolen car linked to other crimes, so they followed it and set up a perimeter while waiting for the departure of. Smith.

When Smith left, GRPD officers entered. Police said it was at these times that an officer slipped “running into a sloping area” and discharged his gun. The bullet hit a nearby building and did not injure anyone, although Smith claims he injured his arm after the shot startled him.

The incident is being investigated by the Grand Rapids Internal Affairs Unit and the department has asked Michigan State Police to investigate what happened. According to police, preliminary information suggests the discharge was unintentional.

“I thought it was someone trying to steal from me or something, so I moved around and ran off to my right and reached five or seven feet and heard the knock of fire, ”Smith said. “When I heard the gunshot I was like, ‘Ahhh, what did I do, what did I do? “”

After the shooting, police discovered Smith’s car when “similar” was not the one in question.

Smith says that only added to the insult.

“Nobody thought of looking at that car and looking at the badge over there that clearly said AA or looking at the plate over there that identifies who it is?” Smith asked. “Was the car the target or was I the target?” “

Smith’s cousin Breonna Taylor died in March 2020 after police in Louisville, Ky. Shot and killed the West Michigan native during a botched no-hit warrant.

In the months that followed, Taylor’s death made headlines and sparked change.

Smith says he thought of Taylor when he sat in the back of the police car last week.

“When does it stop?” He’s getting closer and closer, ”Smith said. “At first it was people I didn’t know, just seen on TV, then it was my cousin, and now it’s me.”

Smith says the incident highlights systemic issues in the police departments discussed in the wake of Taylor’s death. He hopes the incident will push accountability among GRPD, which he believes the community needs to see.

“If I had this gun and dropped this gun or ran around with the gun in my hand and accidentally discovered the trigger, I would have had 100 holes or 100 charges on me,” Smith said.

GRPD declined a camera interview, citing the internal investigation.

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