DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Police Chief James Craig held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to address the protests from Monday as a response to George Floyd’s killing.
The mayor said Monday night there were peaceful protest throughout the city.
“We can do this without tearing down our city,” said Duggan. “Last night ended very positively for Detroit.”
Craig began his comments for thanking the residents of Detroit for not accepting violence in the city.
“We had a peaceful march with no incidents,” Craig said. “I’m a proud Detroiter and I’m proud to be your chief of police.”
The police chief added the only arrests were for curfew violations which. There were initially 40 arrests, but the department realized some people were trying to get back to their vehicles from the protest.
Detroit Deputy Police Chief Todd Bettison also spoke about his encounter with protesters and kneeling on behalf of the department.
“We as Detroit police officers, we feel what you feel,” he said.
Although he kneeled, Bettison said his heart was heavy because he didn’t accomplish everything he wanted.
Watch the full press conference below.
MONDAY, JUNE 1 PRESS CONFERENCE
The Mayor says majority of the arrests Sunday night were from outside cities such as: Macomb Township, Harrison Township, Port Huron, Washington D.C., and the state of Tennessee.
A citywide curfew was issued Sunday from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. and the mayor said it was essential to protecting the city of Detroit.
“The Detroit Police did a beautiful job in protecting our city,” he said.
Duggan also mention the investigation into a “group” instigating the protests and that he personally called The Detroit News and The Detroit Free Press to apologize about the arrest of a reporter and those who were “inadvertently caught up” in the situation.
Moving forward the mayor said his officer is working to make sure clear identification is created for reporters and other adjustments be made for the media.
The Detroit Police Chief echoed the Mayor’s comments stating he was proud of the men and women in the Detroit Police Department.
Craig said 70 percent or more of the arrests made were from outside of the city. 110 arrests were for curfew violations.
The police chief said one suspect was taken into custody for felonious assault after lighting a firework and throwing it at a police car.
The chief also mentioned acts from “criminals” who had “railroad spikes” hidden in food boxes.
Here is Sunday’s timeline of events from Chief Craig: from Craig said the “criminals” had railroad spikes hidden in food boxes and police were on the frontlines of the city.
Sunday at 7:45 p.m.: 15 mins before Sunday’s curfew police announced people should prepare to leave before the 8 p.m. curfew.
Sunday at 8 p.m.: curfew in effect and an announcement from police was made a second time. The chief said as this was happening the response officers got were from the “criminals propelling railroad spikes.” The police department made two announcements they were going to deploy tear gas.
Sunday near 9 p.m.: 55 minutes later from the initial announcement the department deployed tear gas. With precision the crowd dispersed.
Watch the full conference below
SATURDAY, MAY 30 PRESS CONFERENCE
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Police Chief James Craig held a press conference Saturday afternoon at the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters to address Detroit protests Friday night after the killing of George Floyd.
Floyd, a black man, was arrested after allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit bill at a Minneapolis business on Monday evening. He was held down by a white officer who was seen in a viral cellphone video, putting his knee on Floyd’s neck. Floyd could be heard in the video complaining that he couldn’t breathe and later appears to become unconscious during the footage.
Chief Craig said the police department arrested 45 males and 15 females. Out of the males arrested Friday night, only 17 were from the city of Detroit. Out of the females arrested only six were from the Detroit. They were all arrested for disorderly conduct, according to the chief.
The chief also said during the conference seven police department vehicles were damaged and two officers were injured but both are expected to recover.
“If you want to disrupt, stay home and disrupt in your own community,” said Craig.
Near the Detroit protests, a 21-year-old Eastpointe man was shot and killed in the area of Congress and Randolph. Police said an unknown suspect approached a silver Dodge Caliber that was in a parking lot of the location. Inside the vehicle was the 21-year-old man and two other males. The unknown suspect fired shots into the vehicle and police say all three men fled the vehicle, but at some point the 21-year-old was shot.
The suspect fled in an unknown direction.
Mayor Duggan gave credit to the activist community and the Detroit police department during the peaceful protests Friday afternoon.
“Our officers behaved with courage and professionalism. It shows you the training that Chief Craig and DPD have instilled in this department,” said Duggan.
The Mayor also mentioned the majority of the people arrested were from Brighton, Warren Plymouth Ann Arbor and Bay City.
The Mayor and Chief were accompanied by Maurice Hardwick “Paster Mo” with Live In Peace Movement, Rev. Charles Williams, Chair, Michigan Chapter of the National Action Network and Ray Winans – CEO of Keeping Them Alive.
Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit Branch NAACP said there’s a way to protest, but it should be done in a right way.
“We need to develop this moment into a movement. The movement should be are you registered to vote? Are you voting in November,” said Anthony.
Saturday afternoon, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Gilchrist released a statement encouraging communities across Michigan to designate areas for peaceful demonstrations: “As Americans, this is one of the most challenging periods in our lifetimes. People in communities of color across the nation and right here in Michigan are feeling a sense of exhaustion and desperation. Communities are hurting, having felt that calls for equity, justice, safety, and opportunity have gone unheard for too long. We stand in solidarity with those who are seeking equitable justice for everyone in our state. We can’t live in a society and a country where our rights and our dignity are not equal for all. The First Amendment right to protest has never been more important, and in this moment when we are still battling a killer virus, it is crucial that those who choose to demonstrate do so peacefully, and in a way that follows social distancing guidelines to protect public health. Our administration is working closely with local elected officials, public safety, and faith, and youth leaders to encourage communities across the state to designate areas for peaceful demonstrations where people can make their voices heard. There will no doubt be more tough days ahead, but we must pull together and treat our fellow Michiganders with dignity, compassion, and humanity.”