By April Morton

(CBS DETROIT) – Demonstrators in Detroit say they were brutalized by the hands of Detroit police during a protest over the weekend. Monday, Chief James Craig spoke out about the allegations.

Police say a peaceful protest downtown Saturday night, with about 150 participates, turned violent when a group took to social media calling on people to come down and occupy Woodward.

“The organizer made a public post to a social media page, making demands and refusing to leave the intersection,” said Craig.

The group, Detroit Will Breathe made the post online, encouraging more protesters to join them as they blocked off Woodward and John R, a busy downtown intersection. The group is demanding the end of Operation Legend, a group of federal agents assigned to Detroit by President Trump, to fight against crime and gun violence.

Craig says for an hour officers demanded protesters move from the intersection, and once they didn’t comply, and allegedly started shoving officers, force was taken.

“I am not going to let any group of Seattle zone of lawlessness here in the city of Detroit,” said Craig.

After the protest, demonstrators took to social media, claiming Detroit police used excessive force and made unlawful arrest.

Craig says there are at least three investigations going on based on the claims.

He also states the 44 arrests were lawful, with 16 being Detroit residents, 27 outside the city and one from California.

“If you come to our city and you’re going to be disruptive you will be arrested,” said Craig.

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April Morton

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