GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A police officer in western Michigan has been suspended two days without pay after a man protesting police brutality was struck with a tear gas canister.
An internal review determined Phillip Reinink used unreasonable force on May 30, Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne told reporters Tuesday.
The victim was shot with a long-range tear gas canister at close range during a confrontation with officers. Payne said Reinink had meant to use a different canister.
The incident was captured on cellphone video.
Reinink already has served his suspension. He did not face criminal charges.
“Officer Reinink recognized immediately he had made a mistake, a mistake we all regret,” Payne said. “We never want these types of incidents to happen. Mistakes were made.”
Protests erupted in cities across the U.S. following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, who was Black and handcuffed, died after a white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly 8 minutes even as Floyd begged for air and eventually stopped moving.
In Grand Rapids, a number of stores and shops were damaged. Mayor Rosalynn Bliss declared a civil emergency and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the National Guard to be deployed to assist with curfew enforcement and property protection.
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