They have safety concerns for their community following reports of bias policing.
A group of Black men in Grand Rapids, Michigan attended a city commission meeting Tuesday night and urged officials to declare a “state of emergency,”MLive.com reports.
The Greater Rapids NAACP told the news outlet that about 100 Black men met the previous night at LifeQuest Ministries and agreed that something must be done to address reports of police bias and to protect their families.
“I hear you loud and clear as you are suggesting we call a state of emergency,” said Third Ward Commissioner Senita Lenear at the two-hour public hearing. “I don’t know whose job it is to call that—but I agree with you that there is a state of emergency. If I had the authority to call a state of emergency I would.”
The men told the commissioners that they want to prevent racial tensions from boiling over.
In April, a study found that Grand Rapids police are two times more likely to stop Black drivers, and cops searched Black drivers at a higher rate than non-Black drivers.
One month earlier, Grand Rapids police held five innocent Black boys at gunpoint and searched them for weapons. A video shows one of the boys crying as he lay on the ground, the outlet reported.