Whitmer: MSP case in Grand Rapids “departure” from policies, procedures

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a statement Friday calling an incident of an unmarked Michigan State Police vehicle hitting a man in Grand Rapids, ” a departure from MSP protocols and the high standards of the department.”

MSP released video Friday showing an unmarked state police vehicle hitting Samuel Sterling, 25. The video shows Sterling crying out in pain, while officers tell him to lie still and breath while emergency medical teams were on the way to assist him.

Sterling died hours later in a hospital.


MSP has completed its investigation into the crash and referred the results to the Attorney General for review and possible issuance of criminal charges against the trooper involved. The trooper is on unpaid administrative leave.

Whitmer’s full statement:

The death of Samuel Sterling was unacceptable. My heart is with his family and the Grand Rapids community. The state trooper involved is on unpaid suspension. The MSP investigation has been completed and Attorney General Dana Nessel is reviewing to make a final determination on any charges. I have full faith that her office will work quickly to arrive at a fair and just decision as to whether criminal charges are appropriate. In light of video footage showing a departure from MSP protocols and the high standards of the department, my expectation is the State of Michigan will take steps to terminate the trooper’s employment if criminal charges are issued.

Statement from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, May 10, 2024 news release

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II issued a statement along with Whitmer.

Samuel Sterling’s death is an absolute tragedy. The Sterling family and Grand Rapids community deserve answers, accountability, and justice. I hear, see, and feel the incredible pain that people are experiencing right now, along with the trauma this triggers for so many. In my heart, I know that we can build a world where every interaction within our community, especially those with law enforcement, results in a safe outcome for everyone. We must wrap our arms around each other as we continue to work together toward that goal. I want to thank Colonel Grady for showing leadership in tough times, treating this with true professionalism while ensuring a fair and thorough investigation.

Statement from Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, May 10, 2024 news release

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WLNS 6 News.