Detroit police prepare for potential protests ahead of Derek Chauvin trial verdict in George Floyd case

‘We are prepared to keep our city and our protesters safe,’ says DPD Chief James Craig

Detroit police chief speaks out ahead of George Floyd death trial.

DETROIT – Derek Chauvin will stand trial for the death of George Floyd Monday.

There are concerns that the verdict in the trial could spark violence or protests.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig pointed out that Detroit was one of the few major cities that didn’t have widespread violence or looting during the protests in 2020, but that doesn’t mean he’s not taking precautions in the event of more protests.

Craig said his department is ready for whatever may happen after the trial and verdict.

“We don’t know what the outcome will be,” Craig said. “But given what we know, we are prepared to keep our city and our protesters safe.”

Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters were arrested during the 2020 summer after clashes with police. Early 2021, most of those cases were dropped and only a handful remain.

“The need to be the forces that de-escalated conflict and stop being a force that implements inequality,” said Tristan Taylor, with Detroit Will Breathe.

Prosecutors said Floyd died after Officer Derek Chauvin compressed his neck for 9 and a half minutes while the man was handcuffed and on the ground.

The defense is expected to argue Floyd struggled with police and had health issues.

“We want justice for George Floyd and if we don’t get it, we expect an explosion that happened last summer to happen again,” Taylor said.

READ: Detroit Protests

“We support peaceful protests, but when individuals embedded within peaceful protesters opt to engage in criminal behavior, then we will address that,” Craig said.

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.