DETROIT – Local 4′s Hank Winchester and Larry Spruill reported live in Downtown Detroit at Saturday’s March Against Police Brutality protest.
Protestors took to the streets of Detroit for a second day in a row following the recent death of Minneapolis man George Floyd.
Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer during an altercation on May 25. The officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for at least seven minutes while he was handcuffed and laying on the ground -- even after he told the officer he couldn’t breathe.
Saturday’s demonstration began similarly to Friday’s -- it started peacefully but became chaotic.
One 21-year-old man from Eastpointe was shot and killed during Friday’s protest Downtown. Detroit Police Chief James Craig says there is no indication that the shooting was related to the protests. Police are still investigating the incident.
Craig said the day began peaceful and his officers supported the demonstrators, even allowing them to walk along I-375, which was shut down to keep everyone safe.
Protestors left the freeway and made their way to Hart Plaza where police said they could feel the crowd become agitated.
“We just knew,” Craig said.
When protestors began to approach the Detroit Police Department Headquarters, Craig said they began throw bricks, rocks, fireworks and firecrackers.
“We support the protest,” Craig said. “We do not support lawbreakers.”
The crowd outside the police HQ was smaller than Friday’s numbers, Craig said. He estimated about 250 people were present, but more agitated than Friday’s demonstrators. He said officers some protestors had brought ice-chests and coolers on wheels stocked with bricks.
Craig said nonlethal means were used to disperse the crowds. No injuries were reported.
Five people were taken into custody.
Craig told Local 4 that the DPD supports the issue, but had to take action when the demonstration began to threaten public safety.
The DPD will be fully prepared for marches and demonstrations Sunday, Craig said.