Police brutality protest in Detroit turns violent; 19-year-old killed | Michigan Radio

Police brutality protest in Detroit turns violent; 19-year-old killed

8 hours ago

Update: May 30, 2020 1:58 a.m.

After a large protest outside Detroit Police headquarters largely dispersed around 6 p.m. Friday evening, about 200 people continued to march.

Around 10 p.m., police showed up to disperse the protesters.

The Detroit Police Department confirmed that at around 11:30 p.m. an unknown suspect in a gray Dodge Durango pulled up in the area of Congress and Randolph, and fired shots into the crowd, striking a 19 year old man, who died at a hospital.

The DPD did not say whether the man was part of the protest or a bystander.

Police then chased the crowd around downtown Detroit with tear gas and pepper spray, trying to divide the protesters. There was some vandalism, including broken car windows, and some in the crowd threw rocks and bottles at the police. More than a dozen people were arrested. 

Detroit Police Chief James Craig spoke in a Facebook Live video late on Friday evening.

“You know, I love this community and we work very well with this community, and we know that the individuals from outside the city of Detroit who converged at the protest location don’t represent this city. They’re not from this city,” said Craig. “And so I’m just asking for all Detroiters to continue to support us, let’s peacefully protest. But outside of that, we’re not going to tolerate it. We’re not going to tolerate criminal acts.”

WDET's Ryan Patrick Hooper contributed to this story.

Original post: May 29, 2020 8:22 p.m.

George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police has sparked protests nationwide—including some in Michigan.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Detroit Police headquarters on Friday. They called for prosecuting the officer who killed Floyd, and for an end to police violence and systemic racism.

Protesters outside Detroit Police headquarters on Friday.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested, and faces murder charges. But in Detroit, protester Nadine Hall said that took too long, and it’s not enough.

“We just all have to change the system. The systematic racism has to end, one way or the other,” Hall said. “And I’d rather that it end peacefully with us all working together, or in a civil war, which is what it seems like we’re heading for.”

The crowd in Detroit consisted of large numbers of people of all races. That heartened protester Tom Albrecht, who’s white.

Albrecht said a sense of sadness, anger, and helplessness drove him to take action, and he hopes others will do the same.

“There needs to be a lot more emphasis of white people talking to other white people to counteract this type of heavy racism that we’ve seen expressed from the top down,” Albrecht said.

The protest in front of police headquarters was peaceful. Officers even handed out masks and protective wear to protesters.

But the protest split off into several smaller marches through surrounding streets. Some Detroit police cars were reportedly damaged.