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Protesters plan to sue Detroit Police Department over its response to Saturday protest

Demostrators in downtown Detroit protest police-involved shootings that have killed African-Americans.
Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

Protesters say they will file a lawsuit against the Detroit Police Department over its response to a Saturday protest.

Organizer Tristan Taylor says the protest was against Detroit's acceptance of help from federal agents to crack down on gun crimes.  

More than 40 people were arrested when police moved in to clear them from an intersection where they had established their protest.

Taylor says many of the officers used excessive force, and turned their badges around so they couldn't be identified. 

"It was absolutely vicious," he says. "It was revenge. It was more about not just clearing space but really brutalizing people for the audacity in truth of standing up and being so critical and being so forceful in our criticism of the police department."

He adds, "the answer to protests about police brutality can't be police brutality."

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says he has been "patient" with the protesters this summer, but he says he could not allow an intersection to be used for a protest.

Craig also claims many of the protesters are not from Detroit, and that Detroiters support the city's partnership with the U.S. Justice Department's "Operation Legend."

Protesters say they plan to demand Craig's resignation or firing at a rally in front of police headquarters Wednesday.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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