DETROIT – Saturday’s march in Detroit isn’t just the 100th day of protesting, it’s also the first demonstration since a federal judge gave Detroit Will Breathe a temporary restraining order that forbid police from using teargas or batons on the peaceful protesters.
At least 500 people were on the move Saturday in what they called a celebration of the judge’s ruling.
Detroit police said they have no intention of changing their tactics with the group.
The group celebrated with a silver balloon outside Detroit Police Headquarters where, just two weeks ago, DPD fired teargas and made arrests to disperse a crowd.
Federal judge Laurie Michelson viewed teargas and batons as excessive force and Detroit Will Breathe leader, Tristan Taylor, views the decision as a partial victory.
“The thing we want to use this lawsuit for is to set a precedent against what to us is a concerted effort of squashing dissent in the city of Detroit and across the country where we’ve seen incidences similar to this,” Taylor said.
Saturday night’s march went past the MGM Casino, Across to Woodward Avenue, stopped briefly outside Little Caesars Arena, down to Campus Martius Park, where they left the street to rally.
Taylor maintained his desire to have Detroit Police Chief James Craig resign.
“There is a lot of gaslighting going on in DPD HQ,” Taylor said. “That’s one of the reasons why Chief Craig has got to go. He just refuses to be accountable for any of his actions.”
Craig told Local 4 he isn’t going anywhere.
“The outsiders, agitators, in some instances, domestic terrorists, I’ll say it too, the mob -- that doesn’t reflect all,” Craig said. “It’s a small portion of those who want to come to our city and undermine what we’ve worked so hard to accomplish so I have a message for them -- you leave.”
As of 11 p.m., there has been no confrontation between police and the protesters. In fact, DPD assigned a police vehicle with flashing lights to follow the protestors around town to prevent traffic from rolling up on the group.
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