Heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition

Reasonable and Necessary? The Night Detroit Police Justified Violence

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Image credit: Adam J. Dewey

The night of Aug. 22nd started as a non-violent rally against racial injustice and police brutality. After police showed up, it ended in broken bones, bloody faces and a vivid example of what protestors are railing against.

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As tensions have risen between police and protesters in cities across the country, Detroit’s demonstrations have been largely peaceful.

Yes, force was used. But just the force that was necessary.” — Detroit Police Chief James Craig

The group ‘Detroit Will Breathe’ has marched most nights since the police killing of George Floyd in late May. Aside from several nights of clashes early on, there hasn’t been much in the way of confrontation.  

Recently that changed. On Saturday, Aug. 22, police used tear gas and violently took protesters into custody because they were blocking Woodward Avenue. Six people were hospitalized.   

WDET’s Russ McNamara takes a closer look at what happened that night and how the fight against police brutality might be shifting to the courtroom.

Listen: Aug. 22nd, use of force and the pending lawsuit against Detroit police. See photos from the protest below.

(Editor’s note: the below photos contain depictions of police violence and the aftermath. Be advised)

Scenes from Aug. 22nd

Adam J. Dewey
Adam J. Dewey
Adam J. Dewey
Adam J. Dewey


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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. He’s been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.


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