GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The amount of time a Grand Rapids officer was suspended for his response to a former prosecutor’s alcohol-related crash is significantly lower than previously reported, 24 Hour News 8 has learned.
Grand Rapids city spokesman Steve Guitar said Friday that Officer Thomas Warwick’s suspension was actually 160 hours, not 160 days as he previously told the media.
Guitar says it was a communication error that led to him disseminating the incorrect information.
Former assistant prosecutor Josh Kuiper crashed into a parked car, injuring a man, while driving the wrong way on Union Avenue SE in Grand Rapids on Nov. 19, 2016. Records say alcohol was a factor, body camera footage shows Kuiper was slurring his words and the first officer on the scene described him as “hammered” — but he wasn’t given a breathalyzer test or arrested.
The city manager and police chief recommended that the three officers who handled the situation, Officer Adam Ickes, Warwick and Janiskee, all be terminated. However, after appeal hearings, both Ickes and Warwick kept their jobs. Ickes accepted a 30-day suspension without pay and will also be on probation for two years.
A termination hearing was held Tuesday for Janiskee, but no decision has been made about whether he will keep his job. It’s unknown when a decision will be made, Guitar said.
The internal investigation into the handling of the crash began in January on the same day 24 Hour News 8 started looking into it after getting an anonymous tip. The police chief previously said that 24 Hour News 8’s interview with the prosecutor prompted the internal investigation. It’s unclear if the incident would have even been uncovered otherwise.
The Kalamazoo prosecutor who investigated the officers’ response determined they did not violate the law.
However, a judge ruled last week there was enough evidence to send Kuiper to trial on charges of reckless driving causing serious injury and a moving violation causing injury. Daniel Empson, the person hurt in the crash, is also suing Kuiper, who has since resigned from his post.