(WWJ) Detroit police say they have started an internal investigation into the actions of police officers who were videotaped pushing a man to the ground on Saturday night in one of the many chaotic images to come out of a weekend of sometimes violent protests across Michigan and the rest of the country.
The video posted on Facebook Saturday shows DPD moving toward a crowd near the People Mover at Randolph and Macomb streets. A white man in front of them is yelling, and a couple of the officers push him -- hard -- until he falls to the pavement. One of the officers pepper sprays him in the face once he's down. See it here.
“I take any allegations of misconduct serious," Craig said. "If we find the officers action were improper, that officer will be held accountable.”
Meanwhile, Free Press reporters said they were targeted by police to be pepper sprayed, even while holding up media badges. They were also sprayed by rubber bullets and gas. One Freep reporter said a cop slapped her phone out of her hand while she was livestreaming the scene.
In another chaotic video, Motor Muckraker founder Stave Neavling shoots from the crowd, saying "Detroit police were out of control tonight. I’ve never seen anything like it. They fired tear gas and rubber bullets into a peaceful crowd. They pushed people to the ground. Reporters were arrested. My eyes are still burning from the tear gas, which they were firing at people while they fled. Unbelievable."
Police confirmed early Monday that 100 people were arrested Sunday, mostly residents of Detroit's predominantly white suburbs. Some fired M-80s, glass, bottles, fireworks spikes and projectiles at officers while taunting them
City resident Stephen Grady, chief of staff for Councilwoman Brenda Jones, saw a different side of the equation. He thought some of the protesters came in from the outside with a goal of burning down the Detroit Police Station the way protesters burned down the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis. Cops there were ordered to keep the peace by essentially just watching as it burned down on the first night of protest over the death of George Floyd. Floyd died when cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes while he begged for his life on a sidewalk in broad daylight.
In Detroit, Grady saw it this way ... "DPD was finally able to push them back from trying to breach DPSH headquarters. There were about 250 antagonists. There were a few detroiters in with them but mostly these were people who came here to stir up trouble. There was tear gas, rocks, railroad spikes and fireworks thrown at the police. They snuck these weapons into the city in coolers. When DPD pulled up two SWAT trucks the crowd got scared.