Company to investigate Kalamazoo police handling of protests

The City of Kalamazoo has hired a group to dig into how the police responded to protests and rallies over the summer.

A company with a history of investigating police departments across the country has been handed the contract to investigate Kalamazoo’s Department of Public Safety. That’s after the department came under fire for its response to several incidents over the summer.

Kalamazoo’s City Commission awarded the investigation contract to the California-based OIR Group last month. OIR Group presented its plans to commissioners on Monday. The company is headed by Michael Gennaco, a former civil rights prosecutor.

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KDPS was accused of using overwhelming force during protests in June over the death of George Floyd and of being largely absent during a rally by the neo-fascist Proud Boys group that devolved into violence in August.

OIR Group will interview protesters and witnesses, review KDPS activities during both incidents, analyze use-of-force policies, and issue a report with recommendations for improvement.

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