Detroit police say outsiders coming to city to turn protests into chaos

DPD works with FBI to track down ‘professional protesters’

DETROIT – Detroit police officers are working closely with the FBI to identify and track outsiders who are coming to the city and trying to turn protests into chaos.

“These individuals have an agenda,” Detroit police Chief James Craig said. “They are not here because they want to honor George Floyd.”

READ: 3 days of protests in Michigan: Here’s what happened

In an interview with Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley, Craig said his department is working with FBI agents to identify possible “professional protesters” who are coming to Detroit.

Craig said he believes they’re in the city to tear down the bridges police have spent years building with the Detroit community.

“They have another agenda,” Craig said. “We know that, and we are poised to address it.”

Police have arrested people coming into the city from Washington, D.C., Nashville and Ohio.

The majority of the arrests at Downtown Detroit protests have been people from the Metro Detroit suburbs, including Ferndale, Ann Arbor, Farmington Hills and Orion Township.

Craig said anyone who broke the law over the past three nights was arrested, but officials are keeping a close eye on inside intelligence to track whether more outsiders are coming to turn what have been mostly peaceful protests into violent, destructive events.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.