EAST LANSING, Mich. — The East Lansing Police Department (ELPD) has worked to communicate and provide information to a group of protesters who rallied outside and inside of ELPD on Wednesday, Oct. 22 in a protest tied to the events in Ferguson, MO.
ELPD took time to meet with leaders of the protest and provided detailed responses to their demands. ELPD’s responses to the demands have been posted on the City’s website, along with a list of ELPD’s 1033 Program Acquisitions (military supplies) and a link to East Lansing’s arrest history with demographic information. This information can be found at http://www.cityofeastlansing.com/Home/Departments/Police/ProtestResponse/.
Some of the protesters’ demands included purchasing body video cameras for all police officers, disposal of all military surplus weapons, public disclosure of all records of police detainments/arrests and the release of a statement condemning the actions taken by police in Ferguson, MO. Here is a summary of ELPD’s responses to those demands:
ELPD is in support of police officers wearing cameras, as the in-car cameras already utilized by ELPD have confirmed that officers were acting appropriately an overwhelming majority of the time. ELPD has been researching body-worn technology for the past six months and is hoping to secure funding within the next few years.
ELPD’s list of military supplies acquired through the 1033 Program shows that most of the items are not weapons and have saved the department a significant amount of money. Any weapons that ELPD has received or may receive in the future would only be used to respond to threats of violence – to keep community members and officers safe.
ELPD’s arrest history (with demographic information) from 2010 to 2013 shows a breakdown of arrests by crime, gender and race. This information was made immediately available and will be maintained and regularly updated on the City’s website.
ELPD has not been presented with all the facts regarding police use of force in Ferguson, MO. It is, therefore, not prudent to critique or judge their actions. As with anyone who is accused of a crime, they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“ELPD has a long and proud history of serving East Lansing residents, MSU students and visitors with law enforcement services that are highly effective and proactive in nature, while also demonstrating fairness and genuine concern for all who are part of the community,” said East Lansing Police Chief Juli Liebler. “ELPD is committed to maintaining East Lansing as a safe place to live, while also maintaining the public’s confidence that ELPD respects the broad spectrum of backgrounds and diversity of those who call East Lansing home.”