Resource: Hightower v. City of Grand Rapids

By: American Civil Liberties Union

February 27, 2020

American Civil Liberties Union

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project filed a federal lawsuit in May of 2013, on behalf of Plaintiffs Gilbert Weber and Tyrone Hightower, challenging the Grand Rapids Police Department's longstanding practice of arresting innocent people for criminal trespass on commercial property without warning and without the business owner's knowledge. Even where those arrested are patronizing the business in question, police justify these illegal arrests by pointing to form letters signed by business owners months or years prior to the arrest agreeing to prosecute "trespassers."