Bogus flier leads to arrests at rowdy rally in Highland Park

Image 1 of 6

A rally outside city hall gets heated in Highland Park and several people wind up in handcuffs after police tried to break up the crowd.

It all started after residents got  a flier telling them they would get a free house and $100,000 if they showed up today - but it turns out it was part of a scam.

Several people taken into police custody outside of Highland Park City hall on the Fourth of July.

It comes after police say Ramzu Yunus led hundreds to Woodward Avenue for what he described as "Black Independence Day."

"We have a referendum saying we are going independent, we are going to control this city, it's ours," Yunus said.

Yunus says a Declaration of Independence means those who sign this referendum are entitled to a home and $100,000.

"We are telling people sign the referendum, withdraw the consent of the government," he said. "Give their consent to a new council that will give them the home and give them reparations of $100,000 based on city's assets."

But as more and more people lined up seeking this promise, police encouraged them to leave.

City officials say this was a scam and that there is no property give away or free money.

"We don't give away houses we sell houses to continue to grow our city." said Mayor Hubert Yopp.

But many chose to believe in the giveaway and wanted police to leave them alone.

"We are all out here trying to get somewhere to live," said Deborah Porter at the rally. "They need to go home change shifts and let us better ourselves."

"You want to arrest the people taking your power away from you," Yunus said to the police.

As the situation got of hand police began to arrest people and take them into custody.

"We tried to put the ringleader into custody, he indicated he was ready to go," said Police Chief Chester Logan. "But when time came after numerous warnings, he took off and ran from us."

As people began to leave police say they will work to prevent a situation like this from happening again.

I'm going to talk to the county prosecutor to see what can be done to prevent this from happening in the future," Yopp said.