Repeat Offenses of Ionia Public Safety

I have never been arrested but in Ionia, Michigan. My first run-around with the Ionia Public Safety was earlier this year, in February. My license being suspended, and having a warrant, my boyfriend and I walked instead of drove during a pretty hefty blizzard, as to avoid confrontation or problems. As we neared downtown, a cruiser stops us and begins asking us questions. A 2nd cruiser appears not long after. The 2nd cop is immediately convinced that, by the description given from a local man, that my boyfriend had damaged the local man’s property prior to us walking into downtown. He is CONVINCED that my boyfriend is the guy, and claims they have him on camera. He points out that his shoes are the same as on the tape. They then frisk my boyfriend, and turn to me. At this point, they consider me an accessory to whatever he’d “done” so they frisk me as well. Both officers present are male. First, he frisks me with his gloves on. Then, immediately afterwards, Officer Williams says, and I quote:

“I can’t feel anything through my gloves.”

And proceeds to frisk me a SECOND time with no female present. The other officer carts my boyfriend off to the local man’s house, to prove once and for all that he is the culprit. When they arrive, the gentlemen is angry – he claims to have NO idea what the suspect looks like, simply wants to find him so the damage to his property will be paid for and cease to continue. Defeated, the 2nd cop – Officer Heinlen – brings my boyfriend back to where myself and Officer Williams are. Officer Williams at this point has gotten my name, and placed me in the cruiser, but has NOT placed cuffs on me and has NOT read me my rights – he simply states,
“It’s cold, go ahead and wait in the cruiser.” and even allows me to have my phone the entire time. Finally, once my boyfriend and Officer Heinlen arrived, Williams informs me that I have a warrant and he will be bringing me in. Still, no cuffs are placed on me. They send my boyfriend on his way, and I was then brought to booking.

My second encounter with the Ionia Public Safety happened a few days ago, with questionable motive on their part and a huge lack of professionalism, or any regard for policies. Now I’m not a girl to believe in coincidences, and oddly enough a few days prior to my arrest I had made a delivery to one of the local correctional facilities that circle the town of Ionia. When I arrived at work, it was the first delivery of my shift. My manager warned me it was late, and that the pizza had been sitting for an hour – but she did not make another one and instead sent me out. When I arrived, the correctional officers seemed to be in their usual peachy moods – I even got a 4 dollar tip. When I arrived back at the pizza shop, however, I had become a menace – a leper! They immediately set in on me, that I was an hour and a half late – mind you, my manager’s fault – and that the pizza sucked – also her fault. They then proceeded to claim I smelled of marijuana – which to me is ridiculous, as I had literally JUST come from my 2nd job straight to Palermo’s, which is only a minute’s drive away from the shop – and demand that I change my attitude and habits. They then proceeded to call back, and also inform her that my piercings were offensive and I need to take them out if I make deliveries there.
Maybe three days later, coming home from a closing shift at Palermo’s, I see I’m being followed. As I almost reach my street, finally he flicks on his lights. When I stop, the Officer (which I could not get a name for as he had no name badge) does not give me a reason as to why he pulled me over, but instead tells me my license is suspended. He runs my name and driver’s license – which you’d think was unneccessary as he already knew it was suspended apparently – and comes back to inform me that he will have to take me to jail and impound my vehicle. Which, mind you, he does not have to do. My boyfriend could have very easily come down and driven the vehicle the 30 seccond drive home. A 2nd officer appears – yet again, Officer Heinlen. They repeatedly ask me if there’s anything illegal on me or in the vehicle, even though I have no history of drug use on my file and there was no indication that I was on anything – I even informed him when he first pulled me over that I was just leaving work. Finally, he places me in cuffs and begins the walk back to the cruiser. And a common occurance with Ionia Public Safety – I was not read my rights, yet again. I stop, and ask if I can get the money I made delivering out of the center console. Officer Heinlen obliged, and I was put into the cruiser. When he comes back, he instantly begins asking me,
“Why does it smell like marijuana in your vehicle?”

I explain that it shouldn’t, and that I just got out of work. I would have had no time to smoke anything and hide it before he pulled me over, as I live within 5 minutes of the shop. He repeats his question, saying that’s not what he asked me. I repeat what I said.

Of course, they don’t find anything. As I’m being carted off to jail, he even says to me, “You’re going to bond right out, right?”

Ridiculous.

When I arrive in jail, the other woman in the holding cell with me told me a pretty story as well, about how one of the officers watched her naked as they approached her in her home, from where they parked, a block away. Then, the officer allowed her to only put on a bra and sweatpants – not even SHOES! – and forced her to walk into the 30 degree weather to his cruiser, that whole block.

Now, they’re putting me through the run around with the release for my vehicle in the impound – now at $300 to pull out – and lied directly to my face TWICE, claiming once that the officer would bring my release down to the impound for me so they would tow it to my home, and then AGAIN with a different officer, telling me that they were ‘swamped’.

He was parked behind the dumpster in my complex, doing nothing.
But apparently they were very busy.

My question is, why are these officers even allowed to arrest individuals?
I know not all cops are bad, but when my only experience is with these fools, it’s hard to want to trust any of them.

About author

Filming Cops
Filming Cops 1912 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Kelsi Nightwalker

    This is terrible brutality towards females and these cops sound like perverts and assholes… there should be justice!

    • Melissa

      From what I hear it’s a very common occurance in Ionia! Many of the people are uneducated about their rights

      • Jeremy Williams

        Well I’m glad my experience only extends to the corrections officers in Ionia then, sounds like the local leos suck ass. Seems like everyone in Ionia would be saints surrounded by all those prisons. However did you end up with warrants?lmao

        • Melissa Supersaiyan Earthseed

          I missed a court date in GR because I was evicted and moved half an hour away with no vehicle or method of transportation.

          • Guest

            Kevin Heinlein harassed me in numerous incidents in the same manner around the same time… Had me hunted down over a failure to pay dog ticket warrant. Even pulled the same excuse of the smell of pot (im no angel but it’s the one thing that don’t agree with me or i’d probably smoke the shit.. Point is I’d never have it in my possession) he tried charging me with a broken cigarette claiming to be marijuana) I had it dropped $6,000 later. He’s now promoted to sergeant. He had also pulled me over for a light out and to my surprise I had a city income tax warrant out (which was also was actually an “error”) but as I’m pulled over in a gas station parking lot on a Friday night at around 11pm for everyone to see me in the back of the cop car, he calls the K-9 unit lol so I got to sit there and wait forever for god knows who to see a drug dog brought to my truck which found nothing. But thanks for all the rumors for that sight. I’d just like to know if it’s protocol to send for a K-9 unit for every city income tax warrant?? I have a handful of more incidents with him of the same sort. But I can’t type it all lol. Right before his little ego and above the law attitude ballooned he was worried that he was going to be cut from the department. People he works with and school teachers his kids have don’t have many positive things to say about the guy. He’s just a straight up prick. Even to his family. Just shows what you have to do to achieve a higher position in this city’s public safety. It’s absolutely frustrating and just down right sad. Hopefully someone flips the shit around and cleans out the trash.

    • Guest

      Well I’m glad my experience only extends to the corrections officers in
      Ionia then, sounds like the local leos suck ass. Seems like everyone in
      Ionia would be saints surrounded by all those prisons. However did you
      end up with warrants?lmao

      • Melissa Supersaiyan Earthseed

        And there’s actually a LOT of drug problems here, trap houses, lots of domestic violence. This place has the highest rates of forcible rape than anywhere else in the county, or surrounding areas. The cops are useless here. They drive around all day, bored, getting traffic violations that make them lots of cash. They harass people that aren’t doing anything. And on occasion you’ll see them gnab a drug bust.