City fires GRPD officer who repeatedly punched driver

Grand Rapids
Drew Rau

An undated photo of then-Grand Rapids Officer Drew Rau.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids officer caught on video repeatedly punching a driver during a traffic stop has been fired.

The city’s communications director says Drew Rau notified the city manager last week that he was waiving his right to a discharge hearing, clearing the way for Rau’s termination.

The city manager determined Rau should be fired immediately based on an internal investigation and the recommendation by Grand Rapids Interim Police Chief David Kiddle.

Rau was suspended from his job after video of the March 17 traffic stop surfaced, showing him punching Bronquel Brown nearly 30 times. In police body camera footage 24 Hour News 8 obtained, Brown can be heard yelling “I’m not doing nothing” as Rau continues throwing punches.

Rau is also heard using profanity during the incident, which happened near California Street and National Avenue on the city’s West Side.

A neighbor recorded the incident, posted it online and within hours it had thousands of views.

Brown still faces a felony charge of resisting and obstructing officers for disobeying police orders to exit the vehicle, leading officers to use a Taser and pepper spray.

Kent County Commissioner Robert S. Womack, who helped Brown’s family post bond, said Brown’s 6-year-old son was in the back seat during the incident.

Speaking exclusively to 24 Hour News 8, Brown explained that he was not angry at police but that Rau was a “bad cop” who needed to be fired immediately.

Rau was previously moved from paid to unpaid suspension after Internal Affairs determined he violated several policies. The Kent County prosecutor reviewed the case but no charges were filed.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

News 8 Links