GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A commissioner walked out and the Grand Rapids City Commission meeting adjourned early Tuesday evening after continued interruptions.
Despite repeated warnings activists had continued to speak out of turn during the meeting. During public comment, a woman was trying to speak in support of Officer Christopher Schurr, who is charged with second degree murder for killing Patrick Lyoya during a traffic stop. The woman said the greatest threat is not police but people killing each other in the streets of Grand Rapids.
“Those terrorizing this community with robberies, violent crime, theft, assaults and shootings daily. The very community itself refuses to take—” the woman said and stopped as people started to yell at her, prompting Commissioner Jon O’Connor to get up and swear at them.
“I’m done with this (expletive)” the First Ward commissioner said as he walked out.
When someone asked about him leaving, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said she cannot control his actions.
More interruptions from protesters ended up causing the meeting to adjourn early.
This is not the first time this year the commission has adjourned early. A meeting in April was ended early due to people protesting the death of Patrick Lyoya. Another meeting in May was also cut short after protesters started chanting. Later that month, bricks and graffiti were left at or near commissioner’s homes, including O’Connor’s.
Outside of the chambers, police arrested three protesters. One was arrested for allegedly resisting and obstructing police and the other two were arrested for allegedly assaulting, battering, resisting and obstructing.
O’Connor did not respond to multiple messages from News 8 on Wednesday. Bliss in a statement said that everyone must follow the rules during commission meetings.
Bliss said the business portion of the meeting was over, so no action item was impacted. She called O’Connor a “long-standing commissioner” and a “valuable asset.”
“While I haven’t spoken to him, I don’t anticipate that this will result in any future concerns or issues,” she said in the statement.
Correction: It was previously reported that there was more business on the agenda, including a letter from the Grand Rapids Chamber outlining its concerns about how violence is impacting local businesses, before the meeting was adjourned early. However, the public comment portion was the last item on the agenda, and the Grand Rapids Chamber letter was not on the agenda for discussion but instead received and filed by the commission. We apologize for the error.
News 8’s Target 8 investigator Susan Samples and Executive Producer Madeline Odle contributed to this report.