21-Year-Old Man Killed, Several Arrests Made During Protests In Detroit

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By WWJ Newsradio 950

(WWJ) The protests in Detroit turned fatal Friday night.

Police say a 21-year-old Eastpointe man was shot and killed in the area of Randolph and Congress around 11:30pm. 

Investigators tell WWJ an unknown male suspect fired shots into a silver Dodge Caliber in a parking lot. The suspect, and two other men inside the car, got out and tried to run away. The victim was shot while trying to get away, according to police. 

He died at the hospital from his injuries.

The others were not injured.

The suspect is still on the run. If you know his whereabouts, you are asked to call Detroit Police Homicide Division at (313) 596-2260 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-Speak Up.* 

Meantime, multiple arrests were made, as a crowd gathered in the streets of downtown Detroit to protest police violence.

WWJ's Sandra McNeill reported the situation was tense when Detroit Police brought out their strike force.

Protesters are demanding justice for the killing of George Floyd by an officer in Minneapolis.

After 10 p.m., live video from the Detroit Free Press showed police in riot gear, with shields and gas masks at Jefferson Avenue and Randolph St., forcing a protesters blocking traffic to move from the roadway. Some chanted: "Hands up, don't shoot," in reference to the 2014, shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Note — The Free Press video below is unedited and does contain profane and offensive language:

Speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950, Police Chief James Craig said an officer was injured when he was struck by a rock, and another officer was on a bike when a protestor appeared to come very close to hitting him or her with a vehicle "purposefully." 

Chief Craig says police arrested at least six men and three women. Seven out of those nine, he said, do not live in the city of Detroit. 

Amid it all, Chief Craig said we cannot forget we are still in the middle of the pandemic. 

"If you really believe black lives matter, we are still battling COVID. I am a COVID survivor. African Americans are two to three times more likely to either get COVID, or die from COVID. So do us a favor, if you do live outside the city, why don't you protest it in your hometown," Craig said, at a news briefing. "If you do want to come down and make a statement, do it in a peaceful way." 

Chief Craig said the vast majority of the 1,500 protestors were  peaceful. Some even thanked the Detroit Police Department for the work they do. 

"But I will not stand by and let a small minority, criminals, attack our officers and make our community unsafe," Craig said. 

Officers could be heard ordering the crowd to disperse. At one point a couple of people threw glass bottles at the line of police as they marched in a line, pushing the crowd back to Jefferson and Larned St. near the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. From there, police pushed the crowd up Randolph.

 "Police took some people down," a Freep reporter says in the video, after 10:30 p.m.. "I see them cuffing someone here, right behind the police line." 

She called it a "dangerous situation," adding, "Tensions rising really high between the police officers and the protesters." 

Earlier, a couple of hundred people chanted "No justice, no peace!," Lock him up!", and "I can't breathe!" as they marched to Rosa Parks and Michigan Ave.

Photos showed the back window of a police cruiser was smashed, and Craig said in all five DPD cars were damaged in all.

Detroit's is just one of many demonstrations taking place across the U.S., following Floyd's death in Minnesota on Memorial Day.  

"We're going to fight back," said activist and minister Malik Shabazz. "We have a right; we have a God-given right to fight back. Self-defense of a God-given right. And I know people don't like to hear that ...because people would rather we just keep being beaten."

Friday afternoon, a smaller group  gathered to protest what they're calling a blatant case of police brutality in Washtenaw County, in which a woman was seen on video being punched by a deputy.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton said the deputies involved have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of a use of force investigation.

The woman involved, Sha'Teina Grady El, was released Friday from the Wayne County Jail where she was being held in an unrelated case, authorities said. As she awaits future court appearances, Grady El will be free on a GPS tether under a policy to release eligible defendants during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the prosecutor's office. 

Grady El was arrested Tuesday in Ypsilanti Twp. after police say she ignored an order to leave the scene of a shooting that wounded a woman. When deputies then tried to physically remove the couple, video shows one deputy — a large man —punching Grady El repeatedly in the head while another tased her husband. Both were taken into custody. 

SEE THE VIDEO HERE - but note that it is violent and may be disturbing to some viewers. 

"What kind of training are they doing at these academies, where you just go, I mean, just beating on this woman like she's a man or something?" Kennith Reed, spokesman for the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, asked WWJ's Vickie Thomas. "It's one thing to deescalate a situation and take a person into custody. But is that how you go about doing it, by violently beating this woman in the head?" 

Something the public might not realize, the sheriff said, is that Grady El bit the deputy before the deputy retaliated with a punch.

"She bit him first," Clayton told reporters, pointing to what's seen on body camera video the sheriff released at a news conference Friday. 

Clayton was asked what the protocol is for incidents like this.

"The challenge here is it's hard to get these general scenarios and say, 'When someone does that, you have to do this,'" Clayton said. "The policy's not written like that; we have to look at the totality of the circumstances, then we evaluate the actions based on what we're presented with."

"We do not have it written that you can never punch," the sheriff added.

After taking the officers involved off the job, Clayton said his office arranged for an independent investigation of what took place, as well as an external review of the investigation by the Office of the State Attorney General. Also, the Washtenaw County Citizen Advisory Board on Law Enforcement (CABLE) will initiate a citizen review of the incident.

The Ypsi incident happened the same day massive protests broke out in Minneapolis, where Floyd died gasping for air and repeating, "I can't breathe," as a white officer kept his knee on his neck. Protests in Minneapolis protest turned ugly on Thursday, with fires set and stores looted. Minneapolis police used rubber bullets and chemical irritants to disperse the crowd.

On Friday it was announced that one police officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death

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See statement from Detroit Police below:  

"It was previously reported during a preliminary report that an unknown suspect fired shots in a crowd from a Dodge Durango, striking a 19-year old male victim. This information has changed and the updated information is as follows:

After further investigation, it was determined that on May 29, 2020 at approximately 11:30 p.m. in the area of Congress and Randolph, an unknown male suspect approach a silver Dodge Caliber that was in a parking lot of the location. The vehicle was occupied with the victim (driver, 21-year old male from East Pointe) and two other males occupants. The unknown suspect fired shots into the vehicle. All occupants of the vehicle, including the victim fled from the vehicle and at some point the victim was shot. The suspect fled in an unknown direction on foot. The victim was transported to a local hospital where unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. The circumstance surrounding this incident are still being investigated. Anyone with information is asked to please call Detroit Police Homicide Section at 313-596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak Up. Again, this is preliminary information and subject to change upon further investigation."