Saturday, March 14, 2009

GVSU student, Derek Copp, shot in chest by police for smoking marijuana: Executing children for the War on Drugs (Update 3)

Update 3: Mom: shot GVSU son 'never had chance'

Update 2: Police discuss GVSU shooting

Update: GVSU students protest shooting of Derek Copp, hold 'Why was our friend shot' signs - " A friend of Derek Copp, Karah Bradshaw, 19, said she has visited Derek at the hospital, and he's up and talking. She said the bullet hit him in the upper chest, but the bullet traveled downward and did damage. She said there should not have been a drug raid of Copp's apartment..."


"About 40 people had gathered on campus by 11:30 a.m., including student Ben Rose, a protest organizer and friend of Copp. Both lived in the off-campus complex called Campus View apartments.

"'We're out here because we're outraged at the police brutality,' He also is spreading word about a protest planned at the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department on Monday afternoon...

"The students shouted, 'We want safety, not dead students.' Sayings on signs included, 'Our campus is not a war zone' and 'Why was our friend shot?' Another said, 'Police brutality.'"

A request has been made to disseminate the following information.

Derek Copp, a 20-year-old student at Grand Valley State University was shot in the chest by police in a marijuana raid.

Apartment neighbors of Grand Valley State University student Derek Copp say they cannot fathom what prompted police to shoot him late Wednesday in a drug-related raid. But they said they were aware of marijuana odors in the complex. "If you came down the hallway at the right time, you could smell the smoke," said Joe Putra, whose apartment door is in the same Campus View Apartments hallway as the shooting victim.

The 20-year-old student was in serious condition at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. Copp, a Spring Arbor native, has been at GVSU since 2007, the same year he graduated from Jackson Community College, according to his page on Facebook. He identifies himself as "a left-wing hippie peace-keeping liberal," who is seeking a film and video degree. Copp plays the guitar and often volunteers at music festivals to see favorite bands for free, the social networking page states.

Putra described the wounded student as a "real nice guy" who was easy going. He said people would "come and go" to the apartment often, particularly last fall. Still, he wondered why the student was shot.

It is quite important to keep in mind that in Michigan, �Spossession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor that carries a $2,000 fine and a maximum of a year in jail. Actually smoking marijuana (a separate crime) in any location, including your house, is also a misdemeanor, but will only get you 90 days in jail and a $100 fine. However, conditional discharge is available in all use and possession cases, which means that the judge has wide discretion to use alternative sentencing (rehab, community service, etc...) for first time offenders. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual's criminal record does not reflect the charge.⬝

So basically, Derek Copp was shot in the chest for a misdemeanor.

jkahrs595 from Reddit shares the following information regarding this case and is organizing a protest on campus (Grand Valley State University) from 12pm-2pm �Sto shine the light on the kind of things the police in this area think they can get away with.⬝

One of my old roommates is actually friends with this guy, and that's what really opened my eyes. I know countless people that either smoke or have tried smoking pot, and they are all motivated individuals who can't wait to start their careers once they finish college. The same was probably true for this guy, eager to get out into the real world. Getting shot for (from what I hear, could be wrong) only smoking weed, and NOT EVEN DEALING!?

I have personally never smoked weed (I'm not against it in the least bit), but shooting a student IN THE DORMS nonetheless is ridiculous. If anyone is in the West Michigan/Grand Rapids area tomorrow from 12pm-2pm I'm thinking about organizing a protest on campus (Grand Valley State University) to shine the light on the kind of things the police in this area think they can get away with.

EDIT: I have posted below the link to the Ottawa County Police Department's homepage. On it, you will find contact information. Feel free to write them, maybe ask why they are shooting college kids and then rewarding their deputies with paid leave. �SOttawa County Sheriff's Office

EDIT2: It has been brought to my attention that the complex "Campus View" is not owned by GVSU, and is not a dorm. I apologize for the inaccuracy in my original post. With that said, I am now wondering how the police obtained the warrant in the first place if the University had no involvement? I know that if an on campus apartment is involved with alcohol, the University claims that it is responsible for the health/safety of its students and will not hesitate busting into a place to give out a few MIPs. If anyone has any more information, please bring it to my attention. Again, I apologize for the misunderstanding on my part.

Final Edit: I have gotten enough positive feedback that I will certainly be in the center of the Lake Halls tomorrow at noon (under the big blue sculpture thing, where basically every protest occurs) After reading the University's response to the shooting (see below for link), it's clear that they believe no foul play was involved. The title of the article is "Student injured in execution of warrant". I think there was a little more than that going on, and that is why I've decided to stage a protest, so people don't think this was ok. �SStudent injured in execution of warrant

Final Edit #2: The friends and family of Derek Copp are speaking out. A few more details are explained, only making things look worse for the county police department. �SFriends of Grand Valley student Derek Copp, shot by police in Campus View Apartments, accuse officers of overreacting

Further information on the stupidity of prohibition at: �SHappy 420! (almost everything you wanted to know about Ganja)


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