Silent Observer and Operation Save Our Streets (SOS) along with Kent County Sheriff Michelle Young and Grand Rapids Police Deputy Chief Scott Rifenberg held a press conference to discuss the recent uptick in violent crimes in the area and the need for citizens to come forward to report what they know about those involved. Witnesses and residents can help stop the violence by sharing what they know to assist in the apprehension of these perpetrators. Residents are scared and want to keep their families, their neighborhoods, and communities safe. We understand that some are afraid of retaliation from those involved in these crimes, so the purpose of this press conference was to remind our residents that Silent Observer provides a safe and anonymous way to stand up and speak out against crime. State law protects Silent Observer tips from discovery and FOIA so those contacting Silent Observer by phone at 774-2345, by web at silentobserver.org and by using the silent observer mobile app can be assured they will be completely anonymous. Silent Observer is our community’s alternative to silence.
Since so many community members are being affected by this uptick in violence, Silent Observer announced today specific reward amounts for tips that lead to the arrest of those involved in these violent crimes.
- Murder – $2,500
- Shooting with serious injury – $1,500
- Shooting with minor injury – $1,000
- Shootings with property damage – $500
- Gun Store Burglary – $1,500
- Armed Robbery – $1,000
- Car Dealer and Cell Phone Store Burglaries – $1,000
Robert Womack, Kent County Commissioner and Founder of Operation Save Our Streets (SOS) Save Our Streets said the purpose of this group is to connects citizens with neighborhood associations, Silent Observer, Police and Fire Departments to proactively make the community safer. The SOS movement is a continued voice in the community to urge citizen participation.
Grand Rapids Police Department’s Deputy Chief, Scott Rifenberg highlighted five homicides where more information and more cooperation is needed to solve these horrific crimes.
At 10:31 AM on March 1, 2019 Cherletta Baber-Bey, 47, and Keyona Griffin, 25, were murdered at 553 Sheldon Ave SE in Grand Rapids. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Derrell Brown, 45, for the senseless act of violence against the two women. GRPD, State, and Federal Law Enforcement agencies continue to search for Darrell Brown but have not been able to locate and bring him to justice for the murders.
At 12:29 AM on May 5, 2020 Andre Jones, 41, was murdered at 554 Highland St. SE in Grand Rapids. Police know multiple persons both identified and unidentified possess helpful information that may lead to a warrant being issued for the arrest of the suspect.
At 2:17 AM on June 7, 2020 Larry Macintosh, 48, was murdered in the street near 3210 Marshall Ave SE in Grand Rapids. At the time of the murder several, yet to be identified people, may have witnessed the killing or portions of the incident. Critical witnesses have not yet been identified by police, nor have cooperated during the investigation, or come forth with information.
At 3:20 AM on June 26, 2020 Denver Gunn, 48, was murdered 1319 Muskegon Ave NW in Grand Rapids. Police have not yet been able to identify a suspect for this homicide.
At 2:20 AM on July 19, 2020 Jordan Ginns, 24, was murdered in the driveway of 755 Turner Ave NW in Grand Rapids. At the time of the murder several, yet to be identified people, may have been involved in the planning leading up to the murder and escape of the suspect from the crime
If you have any information on any of these homicides, the location of Darrell Demon Brown or on additional criminal acts in our community, please contact Silent Observer at 774-2345 or you can call the GRPD Detective Unit of the Grand Rapids Police Department at 456-3350.
Sheriff Michelle LaJoye Young spoke to the violent acts that is occurring all over the region and the need the community to unite to put an end to the violence. The Sheriff supports Silent Observer and its efforts in providing a safe way to report information about crime.
Lastly, Silent Observer’s Executive Director was asked about how Silent Observer was funded. Silent Observer relies on the community for all its expenses and donations have been down because of the pandemic. Silent Observer has made some major cuts to its programming, but Chris explained that the tip lines and the rewards are the most important aspect of Silent Observer so there will no changes in that. If anyone would like to donate to Silent Observer, they can go online to silentobserver.org.