Think twice before parking your car in Grand Rapids.
Gilbert pulled over to stretch his legs at a gas station. He was arrested and tossed in jailed for three days. Waiting for friends at a bar, Tyrone Hightower was sitting in his car to stay out of the rain. Police arrested him.
Why? They stumbled upon two of the 815 secret places in Grand Rapids where police have decided you have no rights.
815 businesses in Grand Rapids submitted a form letter stating their intent to prosecute all "trespassers" to police. Sounds reasonable, right? Only what the businesses didn't know is that instead of preventing crime, these letters have been used to arrest innocent people and paying customers whom police decide don't "belong."
Yeah, we thought it sounded like a clear violation of the Bill of Rights too.
We don't live in a police state. These arrests are not only unconstitutional and harmful to those arrested, they're bad for business and incredibly harmful to the innocent people arrested.
We've tried to work with the police to end this crazy practice, but people are still being arrested for nothing. That's why we've filed a federal lawsuit, asking the court to protect our Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful arrests and order an immediate halt to this unconstitutional policy.
Police need a real reason to arrest someone: that's a basic American value that any school kid knows. But until we win, you might want to think twice about pulling over in Grand Rapids.