Kalamazoo City Manager privately apologized to officers for questioning arrests

In an email to KDPS, Jim Ritsema apologized for questioning their arrest of a reporter and a legal observer during a right wing rally in August.

Kalamazoo’s City Manager, Jim Ritsema, tried to play both sides of the debate over police handling of a rally by the right wing Proud Boys on August 15 that descended into violence.

Publicly, he criticized the response by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, which arrested ten people including a reporter for MLive and a private legal observer.

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However, in an email a day later to KDPS staff, Ritsema apoligized for his comments. The email was discovered during a Freedom of Information Act request by MLive.

During a public meeting held on August 17, Ritsema stated that “we shouldn’t have arrested people from Kalamazoo and should have arrested Proud Boys.”

In the email, he recanted, stating “I should have said I am not in a position to make those determinations. I apologize for my remarks.”

“I fully support Chief [Karianne] Thomas,” he wrote. Thomas retired from KDPS in September after heavy criticism from Kalamazoo residents.

You can read the full story here.

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