U.S. Rep. Andy Levin is urging the Macomb County prosecutor to drop felony charges against five protesters during a “nonviolent demonstration” in Shelby Township on Saturday.
Protesters said they were peacefully marching on the street when police in riot gear rushed, assaulted, and arrested them. Five protesters were jailed over the weekend and charged Monday with assaulting, resisting, obstruction a police officer, a felony that carries two years in prison. A handful of other protesters were charged with misdemeanors.
They were protesting Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide, who was suspended for 30 days for glorifying police brutality by using a troll account on Twitter.
Levin said on Twitter that he was “disturbed” that “a peaceful demonstration was met with disproportionate force.”
“The police turned out in force with riot gear to meet 100 peaceful protesters,” Levin tweeted. “That’s not de-escalation. They dealt with protestors with aggressive takedowns, using such force that a protestor ended up in the hospital with a concussion."
Levin added, "They continued even once the protestors returned to the sidewalk. That’s not de-escalation. They sought felony charges. That’s definitely not de-escalation.”
As the representative of much of Macomb County in Congress, I am calling on Interim Macomb Prosecutor Jean Cloud to drop felony charges against people who engaged in nonviolent demonstrations in Shelby Township this weekend.— Andy Levin (@Andy_Levin) October 27, 2020
Earlier this year, Shelide tweeted in support of placing protesters in “body bags,” saying “real cops" should be allowed to “take care of the barbarians.”
"Trump threatening to deploy the military,” Shelide said in another tweet. “I have a better idea: unleash real cops and let them take care of these barbarians. I promise it will be over in 24 hours."
Levin said Shelide should have been fired.
“This summer, Shelby Twp. Police Chief Robert Shelide published racist and disturbing statements on social media that would result in termination in most large companies, nonprofits and governments,” Levin tweeted. “He also showed little remorse for his statements, saying they had been taken out of context and misunderstood.”
Protesters have been rallying against the charges and plan to hold a press conference at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Shelby Township Police Department.
“We are holding a press conference today to address the events of this weekend and the disgusting treatment of protesters by Shelby Township pigs following the lead of their racist Chief, Michigan’s own Bull Connor, Robert Shelide,” protesters said in a news release.
Protesters charged with felonies were Tristan Taylor, 37, of Detroit; James Deininger, 33, of Sterling Heights; David Mitchell, 39, of Detroit; Jessica Nadeau, 26, of Shelby Township; and Samantha Phillips, 31, of White Lake.
Completely normal behavior from the @ShelbyTwp911 Police Department, responding to a peaceful march with an insanely grotesque abuse of power.— marc 📷🐪 (@marcKlock) October 25, 2020
There was no warning; they wanted to remove people that support the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
cc: @DETWILLBREATHE, @Staunchest https://t.co/w4ppEgshH2 pic.twitter.com/O7n1kwU5p1
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