DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, police chief James Craig and faith leaders delivered a powerful message to protesters from suburban cities who participated in Friday night’s violent George Floyd demonstration.
“My message is simple. If you want to disrupt, stay home and disrupt in your own community,” said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
Duggan and faith leaders who spoke at the press conference reiterated that message.
“My message today is for the folks that want to participate in peaceful protests, want to deal with police accountability, and responsibility do it in your own community. If black lives matter, advocate with those officers in your community and those suburbs and let them know,” said Ray Winans, CEO of Keeping Them Alive.
He believes the outcome would have been different if people from Detroit protested in the suburbs.
“If any of our black and brown boys from Detroit would have went to those suburbs and threw bricks and rocks, I’m sure we would have been seeing a CNN world news story, because they probably would have gotten murdered had they been in any of these suburban cities.”
According to Craig, a total of 60 protesters were arrested Friday night. He says that number includes 15 women and 45 men. Of the men arrested only 17 were from the city of Detroit. Only 6 of the women arrested were from Detroit.
He says the protesters came from cities including Westland, Farmington Hills, Grand Blanc, Hamtramck, West Bloomfield, Warren, Lincoln Park, Clarkston and Dearborn.
Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People talked about how peaceful demonstrations can still prompt change.
“Real activists know how to act. I have marched from Mongolia and southwest Africa, to south Africa, to Guana, to Washington, to Atlanta, to New York, to Los Angeles, to Grand Blanc, to Livonia, to Detroit, to DC to North Carolina and never tore up nothing and the point has been made," said Anthony.
"We are in solidarity with everyone who wants to protest. We believe in protests. We know how to protest, but we know how to do it right,” he said.
Floyd was killed during a police altercation May 25. Former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested in connection with Floyd’s death. On Friday, he was charged with murder.
“When members of our community watched a police officer choke the life out of George Floyd the pain they were feeling was more than the pain of that one incident. It was the generational trauma of their own personal experiences...The pain our community is in runs deep,” said Duggan.
Maurice Hardwick with Live in Peace Movement asked people coming from other cities outside Detroit to communicate with city leaders beforehand.
“Here’s my message to those who come to Detroit who do not know what is going on in Detroit. You have the right idea, just the wrong city...The message to you so called activists who do not live in Detroit or don’t work with us, you need to check in with us before you get a mind coming here and disrupt, and let us school you on how it works,” said Hardwick.