GR won’t release recording of 911 call before murders

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A panel of Grand Rapids city commissioners has denied an open records request appeal by News 8 to hear the 911 calls that preceded a 2019 double homicide.

Cherletta Baber-Bey, 47, and her 25-year-old daughter Keyona Griffin were killed in their home on Sheldon Avenue SE on March 13.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, News 8 obtained a transcript of a 911 call from Griffin saying someone was dead and that someone was trying to kill her, too. But it wasn’t until several hours later that she and her mother were found dead.

Though the transcript of the call was released, the Grand Rapids Police Department denied News 8’s FOIA request for the audio recording, citing the protection of privacy and an ongoing investigation.

On Thursday, News 8 argued before Commissioners Joe Jones, Nathaniel Moody and Kurt Reppart, members of the city’s FOIA appeals board, seeking to get the recordings. The commissioners maintained the denial.

News 8 is still working to learn what police did on the scene after Griffin’s call for help.

Baber-Bey’s boyfriend, Derrell Brown, is wanted for the murders, but he’s been on the run since they happened. He is considered dangerous. Anyone who has information about where he may be should call Grand Rapids police at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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An undated photo of Derrell Demon Brown. (Grand Rapids Police Department)

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