Help Us Keep Reporting. Donate to Detroit Metro Times.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Detroit City Council considers resolution to dismiss charges against peaceful protesters

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 3:19 PM

click to enlarge Detroit police arrested more than 100 protesters on June 2 for violating curfew. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Detroit police arrested more than 100 protesters on June 2 for violating curfew.

Detroit City Council plans to vote on a resolution that would urge Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration to dismiss charges against peaceful protesters for violating curfew.

Detroit police have arrested more than 420 people since protests broke out in late March following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. A vast majority of the arrests involved curfew violations.



On Tuesday, council members plan to vote on the non-binding resolution.

Dozens of people called on the council to support the resolution on Monday and Tuesday, saying protesters were peaceful and exercising their First Amendment rights. A petition in support of dismissing the charges also is circulating

Council President Brenda Jones said Tuesday that she does not support interfering with the criminal justice system and said protesters were exhibiting a “mindset of entitlement.”

“I must allow the criminal justice system to address these charges,” Jones said. “It would be improper for me to interfere with proceedings in the legal world. It would also be improper for me to favor one group of citizens of Detroiters who, I’m sure, would appreciate a council resolution to dismiss their crimes.”

Although the protests have been largely peaceful, with the exception of a few isolated clashes, Jones suggested the police department and “some sincere protesters” kept “our city from going up in flames like many other cities.”

Much of the violence came at the hands of police, who fired rubber bullets, tear gas, and flash bang grenades at the crowds to enforce Duggan’s curfew during the first five days of protests. One protester suffered a fractured skull from a rubber bullet on May 31. Police also arrested members of the media. Since then, the rallies have been largely peaceful, and police have made no more arrests.

Duggan’s administration has not yet made a decision on whether to dismiss the charges.

“The law department is currently reviewing each one of the tickets,” mayoral spokesman John Roach told Metro Times on Wednesday. “We will make a decision when the review is complete.”

Protest organizers met with Duggan earlier this month to discuss reforms to the police department.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

August 5, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit