The Detroit Police Chief is defending the actions of his department and said a cop “did the right thing” after the officer was seen on camera slowly driving into a group of protesters in southwest Detroit, Michigan, before then accelerating to 25 miles per hour and injuring several unarmed individuals.
The Sunday night interaction between several protesters and an officer with the Detroit Police Department is now under investigation, according to Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who held a news conference on Monday defending the cop’s actions.
This came about after his officers were accused of provoking and then escalating violence as protesters were trying to assemble in Detroit’s Patton Park.
Multiple angles of the scene were posted to social media.
Protesters were observed calling for action on a number of issues, including the abolishment of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, justice for Breonna Taylor and police reform.
Jae Bass, a 24-year-old Detroiter, was one of the demonstrators thrown off the hood of the police-marked SUV. He explained to the outlet that he was attempting to lead fellow demonstrators through the roadblock on Vernor Highway and to Patton Park and moved in front of the vehicle, hoping to prevent it from hitting pedestrians.
The protester argued that the recent nationwide demonstrations, although mostly peaceful, have cops on edge, ready to flex their authority.
“What you’re seeing is us taking control back as the people, and showing exactly what our needs are,” he said. “I think police haven’t seen that in a while, so they don’t know how to control that.”
“What would you have them do?” Craig asked reporters, noting that the officers have not faced any punishment for the interaction and remain on duty.
An unnamed protester told Click on Detroit that the city’s police force “feels like they could do anything with impunity.”
The attack, which killed Charlottesville native Heather Heyer and ultimately resulted in a life sentence in prison for Fields, took place just blocks away from the city’s controversial post-Civil War statue honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
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