’Go home’: Detroit police chief, community leaders slam violent out-of-town protesters

Officials say protesters tried to pull DPD supervisor into melee

Detroit’s police chief and community leaders criticized out-of-town protesters who are coming to the city and seem intent on creating a confrontation.

DETROIT – Detroit’s police chief and community leaders are telling out-of-town protesters who come to the city intent on creating a confrontation to stay away.

Community leaders say those people don’t speak for them, and they don’t want them to continue causing chaos.

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Ray Winans, a Detroit mentor and community leader, said he doesn’t condone protesters destroying the city.

“We cannot, us as men and women in this community, cannot afford for anybody to come and burn this stuff down,” Winans said. “It’s not right, and it’s outright disrespectful.”

On Tuesday night, protesters marched up Gratiot Avenue and got into a confrontation with Detroit police officers when they refused to disperse.

“So again, the warning always comes before the destruction,” Winans said. “Stay up out of here. Leave everybody in the city of Detroit alone. Detroiters know how to work together.”

Officials said 127 protesters were arrested -- 47 from Detroit. The rest were from Detroit suburbs, except for six from Maryland, Washington, D.C., California and New York City.

After railroad spikes were found and fireworks were thrown at officers on previous nights, authorities were on high alert for violence.

On Tuesday night, Chief James Craig said a crowd tried to pull a DPD supervisor into a melee.

“Do you care about the city of Detroit?” Craig asked. “You’re walking down Gratiot, you live in outlying areas -- you care about the city of Detroit? You come in here from New York, California, Maryland? Did I say Maryland?”

“Please stay from out of our neighborhoods,” Winans said. “We don’t want you here. We don’t need you here, and the community has spoken.”

Craig said the supervisor fired off one canister of tear gas in self-defense. He suffered cuts and scrapes. Craig said protesters have tried to pull officials into crowds in other places around the country.

The 8 p.m. curfew is on again for Wednesday and will be assessed on a night-by-night basis, police said.

Activist Tristan Taylor was taken into custody Tuesday night and faced a possible felony charge of inciting a riot. That charge has been dropped. Craig said nothing happened that supported a felony charge, so Taylor is facing a misdemeanor charge, along with other protesters.

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.