Detroit authorities, community leaders working together to keep protests peaceful

Deputy Chief Todd Bettison, Pastor Mo among many helping diffuse tense situations

The outrage over George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis has spilled over into violence around the country, but in Detroit, authorities and community leaders are working together to keep protests peaceful.
The outrage over George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis has spilled over into violence around the country, but in Detroit, authorities and community leaders are working together to keep protests peaceful.

DETROIT – The outrage over George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis has spilled over into violence around the country, but in Detroit, authorities and community leaders are working together to keep protests peaceful.

From Detroit City Hall to the neighborhoods, people are making sure violence and vandalism is contained during protests.

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Examples of protests getting out of control are all over the United States. On Monday night, four police officers were shot in St. Louis. In California, someone used heavy machinery to destroy a Best Buy storefront.

But Detroit continues to trend toward more peaceful protesting. There have been fewer incidents and less damage. More conversations are happening between people of authority and those who want to be heard.

Detroit police Deputy Chief Todd Bettison was one official speaking with protesters. He was overcome with emotion when talking about why he took a knee with them.

Bettison said he did it for the city and for Floyd.

Bettison, Detroit police Chief James Craig and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said their city is leading the nation by allowing protests to happen, but not allowing chaos to take over.

That success has a lot to do with the relationships police build with community leaders such as Maurice Hardwick, better known as Pastor Mo.

Police trust Pastor Mo to help diffuse tense situations.

On Monday night, no tear gas was fired. Detroiters such as artists Trick Trick, Tray Little and Gabrielle Wilson all defended the city.

You can hear from Bettison and Pastor Mo in Shawn Ley’s full video posted above.


About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.