Detroit Police Chief: “I am not letting any group set up a Seattle zone of lawlessness here.” Arrests dozens of rioters.

Detroit Police Chief: “I am not letting any group set
up a Seattle zone of lawlessness here.” Arrests dozens of
rioters. 1

DETROIT, MI – While destructive riots and attacks on police are proceeding night after night in cities such as Portland, Chicago, and Denver, police authorities in Detroit continue to stand boldly and steadfastly against such actions by so-called protestors.  In the realm of protesting, there has been relative calm in recent weeks.

As we previously reported in July, Detroit police have historically taken a hard line against violent demonstrators.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has credited the lack in Detroit of widespread property destruction and violence to a police attitude of “we don’t retreat,” combined with community support.

On Saturday, one group attempted to test the waters by setting up to battle the police, and found that, indeed, Detroit police did not retreat.

The group Detroit Will Breathe called for a “night march” on Saturday to protest against Operation Legend, the cooperative effort between federal and local law enforcement, created under President Trump to combat violent crime. 

The operation so far has made over 1000 arrests in major metropolitan areas since its launch in July.

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On its website, Detroit Will Breathe clearly states that it uses “militant resistance” in order to “achieve meaningful local reforms.”

The group’s “demands” include, in part:

  • defunding and demilitarizing the police
  • dropping all charges against protestors
  • releasing all nonviolent offenses
  • “no use of rubber bullets/military tactics”
  • decriminalizing all recreational drugs
  • ending cash bail.

Detroit Will Breathe announced on social media their plans to occupy a particular Detroit intersection at Woodward and John R on Saturday night.

They added,

“We aren’t leaving until the feds leave.”

Saturday’s events began with speeches and then a march through downtown.

The group then began gathering barricades at the planned intersection.  At least eight times, police gave orders for the protestors cease their illegal assembly, move out of the street, and relocate.  Police waited for more than an hour for compliance.

When the group refused to follow lawful orders and were resistant, officers began making arrests.

Police Chief Craig noted in a press conference that the group setting up barricades appeared to be creating a zone reminiscent of the autonomous zone in Seattle.

Craig told reporters,

“I am not letting any group set up a Seattle zone of lawlessness here in the city of Detroit.

“That’s non-negotiable.”

Violent protestors also deployed some type of gas against police, and one protestor attempted to use a laser on a police helicopter and on officers in an apparent attempt to cause eye injury.  Police used smoke to distract the laser-wielding suspect, and deployed tear gas to deal with the unruly crowd.

44 people were arrested for misdemeanor and felony offenses that night.  16 of the offenders were from Detroit.  The remainder were from other locations, including California.

At a press conference, Deputy Chief Todd Bettison directed a message directed to Detroit Will Breathe, saying,

“To Detroit Will Breathe: You’re not welcome. Go. It’s just not working.”

As one might expect, complaints from the protestors arose as to the use of police tactics in conducting arrests against the violent group.

In his press conference, Chief Craig voiced support for his officers, reminding reporters that protestors often carry weapons and launch projectiles at police.

He added,

“Let’s not take light the dangers our men and women face every day.”

He went on to say,

“I’m proud of the job they’re doing.”

Speaking to The Detroit News, Detroit Will Breathe organizer Tristan Taylor voiced some of the complaints of “unnecessary brute force.”  He admitted that his group placed barricades in the street, but said it “wasn’t clear” that police wanted the barricades removed.

He added,

“What was clear was the sound of batons beating on shields.  That was clear.  That was crystal clear.”

Chief Craig told Detroit News that Taylor’s claims of police brutality were “completely false and inaccurate.”

Craig also called the complaints on social media about alleged wrongful actions by police a “false narrative.”

In addition, he told The Detroit News,

“I’ve never seen a use of force that looks good.”

He added,

”But when we tried to effect arrests, the officers were met with resistance. Was force used? Absolutely. But there’s a difference between force being used and a determination if the force was excessive.”

Craig confirmed that his department would be reviewing photos and videos of alleged police abuse.

Facing the complaints head-on, Craig also affirmed,

“If we find wrongdoing, we’ll take action.”

Support for Detroit’s police was even found with other protestors who sought to distance themselves from the tactics of Detroit Will Breathe.

Rev. W.J. Rideout of the group Defenders of Truth & Justice, himself no stranger to the act of blocking intersections, took exception to the violent actions he observed on the part of Detroit Will Breathe.

Rideout told The Detroit News,

The way they protest, throwing things at the police and fighting with them, does not represent how the people in Detroit feel.”

He added,

“This is not a city where the police are going around shooting people of color,.”

He went on to say,

“I have protested suburban police departments where there is racism, but I’ve not seen Detroit Will Breathe at any of those protests, which tells me they’re not trying to fight racism — they have another agenda.”

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In Chief Craig’s experience, appropriate action against violent groups like Detroit Will Breathe continues to be in keeping with the wishes of the people of Detroit.

Saying he has spoken with many local residents over recent weeks, he said that the locals do not support Detroit Will Breathe.

He added,

“Detroiters are fed up.”

In addition, he said, the goals of the self-described “militant” organization are not at all aligned with the goals of Detroit citizens.

Craig stated,

“In fact, what I’m constantly told, ‘Chief you need to hire more police officers. And we want you to have the equipment necessary to effectively do your job.’

“Removing federal agents is not what they want.”

Here is our previous report on the strong stance of the Detroit PD against rioters:

DETROIT MI –Riots and protests have been occurring in mainly large metropolitan cities since the murder of George Floyd in May. 

Millions of dollars’ worth of damage done to buildings, statutes destroyed, and many officers injured as a result of the chaos. 

However, one city in particular which should be seeing the violence others are having is Detroit, and it is not. 

The reason

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says is because his police department steps up in these situations and “we don’t retreat here in Detroit.”   

Craig told Tucker Carlson from Fox News:

“We’re just not gonna do it.  You saw the images…of streets where there was lawlessness, looting, burning.  No sign of police officers.  We weren’t giving up ground to the radicals.  We just didn’t do it.” 

 [embedded content]

The mindset between Portland, New York, and Detroit could not be more different. 

In those areas, the democratic leaders seemingly have the mindset of allowing the protesters and rioters to do whatever they please, regardless of the financial impact and/or injuries done to people, in hopes that they will simply get tired and go home. 

In fact, mayors in these areas often stand with the protesters and rioters to try to appear as if they understand and empathize with them.  Craig said that will not happen in Detroit and that the citizens there are “fed up with these radical protests.” 

Craig told Carlson:

“I’m not talking about the peaceful protesters, I’m talking about that core group – these misguided radicals that have tried to incite violence in our city.  They said ‘We’re not going to put up with it.’  And so, we got a couple of things.  We got a great police department, great leadership, but we have a community that stands with us and by us and said, ‘enough is enough.’” 

Detroit did see protests and unrest after the police shot and killed Hakeem Littleton

People who were at the scene and Littleton’s family members claimed that he was shot by police in cold blood and that he was actually kneeling with his hands in the air when he was shot. 

Problem with that, it was completely a lie meant which was meant to steer guilt away from Littleton and incite violence in the area. 

Thank God Detroit Police had video from the scene which clearly showed Littleton pulling and firing at police officers prior to the shooting in self defense. 

Detroit Police showed that video which ultimately ended the protests that were occurring in the city.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan praised the release of the video shortly after the death occurred.  Craig talked about his mayor and the short lived protests in Detroit:

“So when you talk about what’s different here, we have a city that has stood together and oh, by the way, I know there’s a lot of conversation about the mayors in some of these big cities.  Our mayor stands with this police chief, stands with this police department [and] we are not going to tolerate this uptick in violence.  That’s key.”

Chief Craig and the mayor of Detroit clearly have a working partnership which has stopped any violent riots in their city after the death of George Floyd. 

Craig, unlike other leaders in the US, proudly stands up for his men and women and does not cater to the likes of groups who wish to defund police and push for anarchy. 

His department is allowed to work as if they are police officers and not pulled to the sideline and watch because it may offend some radical like in Seattle, Portland, New York, or Philadelphia. 

If Craig is not careful, his department will be overrun applications from officers fleeing those areas that are seeking good leadership and the ability to actually be police officers. 

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