Chief Craig: Detroit curfew remains in effect Thursday, but will make "assessments" on protests

For residents planning on protesting on Thursday, plan on Detroit's curfew remaining in effect. 

But that doesn't mean demonstrations can't still happen.

"We talk about issues, in the end, he relies on me to make the decision based on my experience and what I know at the time," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig, referring to how him and the city's mayor Mike Duggan operate. "Yesterday was an example of that. I was physically out there. I could feel the protesters."

"There are few places in America where mayors and police chiefs are in alignment. This mayor is deeply concerned about safety. His role is clear, he's overall responsible for the safety in this city, but he trusts my judgment," he added.

Speaking to FOX 2 Thursday morning, the city's police chief described a unified voice between law enforcement and protesters during Wednesday's demonstration. He also said that while a citywide curfew will remain in effect Thursday evening, he will make decisions based on how to proceed if planned protests extend beyond the rule.

"At this point, there is a curfew and like last night, I'll make assessments," Craig said. "I'm not taking a victory lap. This is about the safety of our community, and again, I made a judgment call based on what I knew."

While DPD's chief may not be taking a victory lap, protesters numbering around 1,000 individuals who marched peacefully Wednesday night did, literally. After the police chief said they would not enforce the curfew as long as the protesters remained peaceful, demonstrators marching in honor of George Floyd and against police brutality took a 'victory lap' back to the department's headquarters before going home. 

Craig and Duggan have put on a balancing act of sorts over the last five days. Both say they support the cause of the protests but have condemned the destruction and disruption that has followed later into the evening.

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Craig said police cars have been damaged and officers have been attacked during previous protests, which provoked a response of mass arrests. On Tuesday, more than 120 people were put in handcuffs after clashing with police on Gratiot Avenue. Many demonstrators have argued police tactics have been too harsh while several journalists have been caught in the fray. On Tuesday, a Detroit Free Press reporter was detained and Motor City Muckraker Steve Neavling said an officer broke his glasses after being punched and attacked by police.

Craig said they are investigating several incidents of police misconduct, but pushed back on the narrative his officers had overreacted. 

"Here's the bottom line. We don't want to see protesters injured, police officers injured, we want peace, like the vast majority of protesters," he said.