Derek Copp Settles

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Derek Copp, the Grand Valley State student shot during a 2009 drug raid, has settled with the city for $144,000.

Police were serving a marijuana warrant (Kopp’s roommate was actually their suspect) when they broke into Kopp’s apartment. Deputy Ryan Huizenga’s gun “accidentally discharged,” striking Kopp in the chest. Kopp was unarmed. Huizinga was convicted of a misdemeanor for reckless discharge of a weapon, but is back on the force.

Huizinga’s lawyer initially blamed Kopp for “startling” Huizinga as Huizinga and the other officers were breaking into Kopp’s home.

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13 Responses to “Derek Copp Settles”

  1. #1 |  Anthony | 

    Thanks for putting “accidentally discharged” in quotes.

  2. #2 |  Burgers Allday | 

    The press release at the time the settlement was announced was surprising conciliatory in tone although I don’t remember the words used.

    other interesting info from MLive:

    “Copp later pleaded guilty to marijuana distribution under the condition the charge would be cleared if he complied with court orders.

    The lawsuit settlement says Copp will support Huizenga in an effort to expunge his misdemeanor conviction for reckless discharge of a weapon.”

  3. #3 |  captainahags | 

    Seems the cop pulled a Dick Cheney there. . . Shoot someone, blame them for being shot.

  4. #4 |  Burgers Allday | 

    @3: yeah, but the policeman doesn’t seem to have gotten an apology the way DC did from Whittington

  5. #5 |  scottp | 

    From the comments section:
    The scum should be pushing up daisies, and the COP should be getting a bonus.

    I work with people who think this way. So depressing.

  6. #6 |  qwints | 

    I have to say, I’m extremely impressed that the deputy was convicted of anything. The prosecutors should be commended for having the integrity to prosecute “one of their own.”

  7. #7 |  Mattocracy | 

    “Huizinga’s lawyer initially blamed Kopp for “startling” Huizinga as Huizinga and the other officers were breaking into Kopp’s home.”

    Whereas had Kopp been startled and shot a cop, this excuse would not fly for a second.

  8. #8 |  marco73 | 

    Wow is the city getting off easy. $144G? This unarmed man was shot point blank in the chest, and spent 13 days in the hospital. I’m not sure that $144G would cover even the hospital bill.
    It had to be an accident. If the officer felt he was in any real danger, he’d have emptied his weapon, and called on his buddies to come over and empty their weapons also.
    The underlying crime – murder? Armed robbery? Child porn?
    No, the accused had a roommate who occasionally sold some pot. Send in the SWAT team!

  9. #9 |  Marty | 

    there was a small fire on the front of a house the other day- we put it out and POUNDED on the door for some time. No one answered. We broke in the door to check if there was any sign of fire inside. The woman who lives there came running down the stairs as we came in- all of us about shit our pants. I’m glad she wasn’t armed! hell, if I was carrying a gun, I might’ve popped off a few rounds. You break into someone’s house, you never know what’s gonna happen.

  10. #10 |  Mannie | 

    It’s a shame Copp didn’t have a better lawyer.

    I wonder if the cop’s conditional immunity holds up, here. He should be sued for everything he is worth.

    If you or I had recklessly shot him, we’d be wearing orange jump suits.

  11. #11 |  tired dog | 

    Copp got the short end on this.
    “UDs” go away when incompetent trigger pullers learn to keep their booger hooks off the bang button until a real threat materializes…but of course he only popped a mundane in the course of his hazardous duty assignment.

  12. #12 |  treed | 

    Were I training Police Union Reps on use of deadly force issues, I would compare and contrast this case with the Fairfax County killing of Dr. Culosi.
    One key difference: Cop A admitted to having his finger inside the trigger guard while Cop B kinda sorta couldn’t remember where his finger was–Cop B’s fellow police officers “investigated” and determined that Cop B’s training had to put Cop B’s finger outside the trigger guard and that a bump (by a car door) caused “an involuntary muscle contraction” that caused Cop B’s finger to come down off the frame of the gun, into the trigger guard and pull through a double action trigger pull. Cop A got a misdemeanor conviction for reckless discharge while Cop B got no conviction. Lesson for cops: “Don’t remember anything other than being bumped (or tripped or whatever).” My Fairfax County Police Department has provided all cops with a near perfect template for blame free killing.

  13. #13 |  Windy | 

    It’s spelled both Kopp and Copp in the article, which is the correct spelling?