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Heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition

Protestors Sue Detroit Police Over Allegations of Abuse, Brutality

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Image credit: Russ McNamara

The lawsuit follows the Aug. 22 incident where police arrested and injured Detroit protestors. In a statement, the City of Detroit called the protests a ‘nuisance.’

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Anti-police brutality protesters are suing the City of Detroit, Mayor Mike Duggan and Police Chief James Craig over alleged abuses.  

Protestors affiliated with the group ‘Detroit Will Breathe’ claim they have faced the very thing they are demonstrating against – police brutality. The complaint – filed in federal court – is asking for an injunction preventing DPD from using chokeholds, tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters. 

In a statement, the City of Detroit called the protests a ‘nuisance.’

The latest incident was at a protest on the night of August 22nd. There were dozens of arrests, and several injuries.

Alex Anest, a medic who follows the ‘Detroit Will Breathe’ protests, says he was severely injured by police during the protest.

Detroit Police Chief Craig.Russ McNamara
Russ McNamara

Detroit Police Chief Craig.

I didn’t realize that my rib was broken,” Anest said. ”I was then handcuffed and brought to the curb on the other side of the street and left with the other protesters who’d been arrested.” 

Anest suffered a broken rib and a punctured lung. He was hospitalized for five days.  

Police Chief James Craig says the police response on Aug. 22nd was necessary due to what he says was a threat by protesters to ‘occupy’ a portion of downtown Detroit.  

I am not going to let any group set up a Seattle zone of lawlessness here in the city of Detroit, that’s non-negotiable,” Craig said. 

Tristan Taylor – one of the protest leaders – says that whole idea is ludicrous, saying the group did not have supplies to do what Craig claims. 

We had not even a sleeping bag,” Taylor said. ”You know like to compare the two situations is kind of ridiculous.” 

In a statement, the City of Detroit is planning a countersuit, calling the protests a ‘nuisance’. 

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Russ McNamara, Host, All Things Considered

Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. While working as an audio engineer for ABC Sports, he was sprayed with champagne as the Detroit Pistons celebrated their championship in 2004.

russmcnamara@wdet.org

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