100 People, Mostly Suburbanites, Arrested Sunday In Detroit Protests As Photos Show Detroiters Protecting Nike Store

WWJ News
June 01, 2020 - 7:51 am
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By Christy Strawser

(WWJ) More than 100 people were arrested in Detroit Sunday night as protesters rallied outside of Detroit Police Headquarters for a third night in a row. The protests were kicked off when George Floyd died, begging for his life and saying he couldn't breathe, while Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes during an arrest for a minor crime.

Rage against police spread across the country, including Detroit, where Mayor Mike Duggan implemented an 8 p.m. curfew. When protesters didn't leave, tear gas was fired and arrests were made. 

Police Chief James Craig said some protesters threw railroad ties, M-80s and other items at officers. Video showed protesters taunting police with signs and chants. "Black Lives Matter!" "No Justice No Peace!" "We Can't Breathe!" 'F The Police!" 

Authorities say most of those arrested Sunday were from the metro Detroit suburbs, where 70% of residents are white, and not from the city, where 79% of residents are black. That followed the weekend trend: Nearly two-thirds of the 60 people arrested Friday night were from the city’s predominantly white suburbs.

Thirty-seven of those taken into custody were from places like Warren, Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield and even Grand Blanc, which is about 60 miles northwest of Detroit, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Saturday.

Some even came from out of town, with Duggan noting during an earlier press conference that one of the people arrested was from Nashville, Tenn.

"Think about the person who drove here from Nashville, Tennessee — more than 500 miles," Duggan said. "How many police departments are within 500 miles of Nashville that have a whole lot more troubled history than anything here? Is the motive really for justice in law enforcement or is it something else?

He added that on Saturday when the protests began, some Detroit residents cried out as protesters announced their intentions to throw rocks and engage in destructive behavior. 

"You could hear them saying 'No, this is our city. We're not like that here' It wasn't police. It was the pride of Detroiters saying this isn't what we do," he told reporters. Images floated around social media of people protecting the Nike store downtown from potential looters.

“No, you are not looting our city.” Some of the Detroiters try to stop people from breaking into the Nike store on Woodward Avenue in downtown #Detroit #michigan #onassignment #protest #unrest #detroitpolice

A post shared by Junfu Han (@junfuphoto) on

In response to the unrest, Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Sunday that lasting until further notice, the city is under a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. That means everyone must be inside unless they are going home, to work or seeking emergency assistance.

"Following the tragic death of George Floyd of Minneapolis, Minnesota, civil disturbance and repeated periods of unrest have broken out in cities across America," the executive order says. "The City of Detroit has experienced two consecutive nights in which large and unruly crowds have threatened the safety of police officers, members of the public, and property, creating a state of emergency."