Police chief: Monday was not Kalamazoo's "finest hour" | Michigan Radio
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Police chief: Monday was not Kalamazoo's "finest hour"

Jun 2, 2020

Kalamazoo officials have imposed a 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew this evening after violence flared Monday night. Vandals broke windows and started fires. Police used tear gas and other means to disperse the crowd.

Police Chief Karianne Thomas says it was not Kalamazoo’s “finest hour.”

“I have certain tools that I don’t want to use that I had to use last night,” says Thomas.

Kalamazoo officials say they are preparing for more violent confrontations again tonight. Officials say the Michigan National Guard will be assisting local police agencies.

Monday night’s violence came after peaceful anti-police brutality marches over the weekend, honoring George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who died in police custody a week ago. One police officer has been charged with murder in connection with Floyd’s death.

Floyd’s death has sparked a growing number of protests across Michigan and the United States. Kalamazoo Vice Mayor Patrese Griffin says change must come.

“What we are going through right now is not new to a lot of these faces in this crowd.  Racism is nasty, it’s messed up, and has caused a lot of problems,” Griffin told people gathered in Kalamazoo Tuesday, “And until we change these systems, we’ll be out here again in another two years.”

Kalamazoo officials expect more violence tonight. 

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