Heard on All Things Considered

When Protestors Show Up, Police Chief Craig Calls Them Communist

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Image credit: Russ McNamara / WDET

Protestors demonstrated in downtown Detroit last night in response to charges brought against Louisville officers that do not directly address Breonna Taylor’s killing.

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About 250 people marched in downtown Detroit last night protesting racial injustice and police brutality. And then, Police Chief James Craig went on television and denounced them. 

An added sense of purpose fueled the protest that made its way through the city streets. The crowd was noisy but peaceful.  

They have another agenda and we know what that agenda is. I believe it’s a Marxist ideology.” — Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Tristan Taylor, one of the leaders with Detroit Will Breathe – the city’s most organized protest group — says he understands the rage around the announcement, where Kentucky officials brought a charge related to the raid that ended with police killing Breonna Taylor, but not for any actions directly related to the killing. 

That’s what you get when you stop people from getting real justice,” Taylor said. 

Force was used after a 'Black Lives Matter' protest in August.Adam J. Dewey

Force was used after a ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest in August.

The only Detroit Police Department presence was a helicopter circling hundreds of feet above the march. But Craig made his thoughts on the protests gripping the country known later, in what has become a familiar sight on conservative-leaning media. 

Speaking on Fox News, Craig – without citing evidence – said “Black Lives Matter” protesters are being funded by communist outsiders intent on undermining the government.

They embed themselves in peaceful protests and frankly, they have another agenda and we know what that agenda is,” Craig says. “I believe it’s a Marxist ideology.” 

Craig is taking criticism for his comments – and the aggressive actions of his officers. In August, dozens of protesters were violently arrested by DPD officers.  

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has condemned Craig’s style of policing.

No amount of militant type of patrolling and violence will make us safer,” Tlaib said. 

In a statement to the Metro Times, Mayor Mike Duggan’s spokesman reaffirmed his support for Craig.

The mayor thinks Chief Craig is doing a great job running the Detroit Police Department,” Duggan spokesman John Roach said.

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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.

russmcnamara@wdet.org

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