Detroit police arrest 127 in Tuesday night protests

According to Detroit police, 127 people were during Tuesday night's protests, the fifth straight night of protests against police brutality sparked by the recent death of Black Americans.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig and other leaders of the police department discussed the protests during a press conference Wednesday. 

Detroit Police confronted a large group of protesters on Gratiot at Connor when more than 200 people split off from the downtown demonstration. They had been directed to disperse for an unlawful assembly and warned for blocking the street.

Craig said during Wednesday's press conference that they gave four calm warnings for protesters to disperse. He said there were two groups of protesters and one group went home while another group did not comply.

"The officers displayed tremendous patience," Craig said about how they handled the protesters.

Craig said the arrests were made 50 minutes after the initial warning.

For those who stayed, police used sonic noise before deploying a gas agent and eventually zip-tying the demonstrators. Some were wrestled to the ground before being restrained.

Craig said the gas deployed, which was not tear gas, was released because a supervisor felt he and other officers were in jeopardy. 

Some were injured from the gas and were rendered aid by officers at the scene with bottles of water.

Of the 127 arrested, 47 were from Detroit, 6 were from Maryland, California, Washington DC, and New York. The other 74 were all from the Metro Detroit area.

"Why? Why are you here?" Craig asked. "Based on the actions of some, the minority, and I can't call them protesters...the community was outraged and felt that these were outsiders trying to undermine the importance of trying to have their voice heard."

Craig said they embrace protesters but not people who come into Detroit cause destruction.

RELATED: Fifth night of protests in Detroit leads to police confrontation, arrests on Gratiot

Craig said the leader was originally held on a more serious charge but it has been lowered to a misdemeanor.

Lastly, Craig said there was a mistake where a reporter from the Detroit Free Press was taken down by police. Craig thanked the reporter, who said the officer who initially detained her apologized.

Craig said it was not the goal to arrest protesters but due to them blocking the street and ignoring curfew, officers moved in.

"We don't want to arrest, but if we have to, we will," Craig said, adding that they will be processed at the Detroit Detention Center. "I would have preferred that this not happen. Clearly I wanted to report to you that it was a peaceful protest and there was compliance. 

Activist Graystone Maddox said that the protest was derailed by a "girl who didn't even look like us" using a megaphone to chant "Hell no, we won't go" in provoking the situation. Her and others like her he said, pushed the envelope as the demonstration was preparing to leave the city limits.

Maddox said it escalated the situation when he claimed things were winding down among the protesters.

Protests are expected to continue again on Wednesday.