Belleville man protests assault charges with Confederate flag, alleges racial discrimination

By Shawn Ley - Reporter, Dane Sager Kelly - Web Producer

LINCOLN PARK, Mich. - Bradley Peterson hid his face during a protest Friday morning at the Lincoln Park Courthouse.

Witnesses said he was wearing a mask and holding a Confederate flag and a sign that read "Black Lives Don't Matter."

When photos of Peterson's protest hit social media, people came to counterprotest the man.

Peterson is a 54-year-old man from Belleville who said his protest is about how he feels his criminal case is being handled. Peterson, who is multiracial, alleges there has been racial bias against him. 

"My protest is black lives don't matter," Peterson said. "[The police] are trying to send us to prison."

In 2017, Peterson was kicked out of the district court in Woodhaven for his behavior and police were called. When Woodhaven police officers asked for his identification, they thought he was reaching for a weapon to get it. Peterson was charged with assault. Those charges were eventually dropped.

"Now, they have charged me again," Peterson said. "The officers came to this court building and said I did not assault them, but they still have me charged with assault."

Police said Peterson threatened the officers' lives, claiming he was a supporter of ISIS and would track down and kill their families. 

"They are trying to put me in prison for sticking my hand in my pocket," Peterson said. 

Peterson is a part of a $200 million suit against the city of Woodhaven. The Woodhaven chief of police said he cannot comment due to the ongoing civil case. 

Peterson is expected to return to court Tuesday.

Bradley Peterson (WDIV)