Monday News Hit: Protesters defy curfew, police make 200 weekend arrests, another rally planned Monday

Detroit's weekend of unrest didn't simmer Sunday night following a citywide curfew as protesters defied orders from the police and the mayor to go home. Like Friday and Saturday before it, protests on Sunday started out peaceful before turning violent as Detroit police officers were forced to deploy tear gas to break up crowds of people.

During a press conference Sunday afternoon, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Police Chief James Craig credited the majority of the demonstrators with exercising their freedom to assembly peacefully. Duggan and Craig also laid the blame of the protests growing unruly at groups of outsiders not native to the city and who had escalated the tensions with law enforcement. 

"When I look at what's happened, it's unbelievable. Atlanta, Portland, Denver, Columbus, Chicago - I look at what's happened there, we haven't had that level of destruction here but I think it's been for one reason, it's been the actions of Detroiters," said Duggan. 

While crowds mostly dispersed prior to the 8 p.m. curfew order, it required tear gas an hour later to disperse the rest of the protesters. During Saturday, which featured the most arrests and property damage, 84 people alone were arrested. About three-quarters of those individuals were not residents of the city. 

The disparity of where those arrested come from prompted the mayor to ask a sobering question.

"They weren't here in the honor of anyone's memory, and I look at the cities - most of them from the middle of the night - Midland, Port Huron, from Saline, from Shelby Township, from Piqua, Ohio, and Nashville Tennessee," Duggan said. "Now let me ask you this: think about the person that drove up from Nashville Tennessee, more than 500 miles - how many police departments are within 500 miles of Nashville that have a whole lot more troubled history than anything here? Is the motive really for justice and law enforcement or is it something else?"

Duggan said the protesters who were causing most of the problems late at night are "very well-organized," and have been using walkie talkies to communicate while supply trucks have brought them projectiles to throw at police. Craig also said railroad ties were being thrown at officers and M-80s to create more problems

It was this slice of the population that was protesting that prompted the mayor to order a curfew in the first place. By the end of Sunday, Detroit Police had made over 100 arrests, with a majority from the Metro Detroit area, as well as two more from out of state. 

The protests over police brutality stem from a video showing up a week ago of a white Minnesota Police Officer holding his knee on the back of George Floyd, who is black for more than nine minutes while he said he couldn't breathe and asked for his mom. Floyd would eventually die and spark nationwide riots and protests not seen since 1968. 

Floyd's death is the latest in a number of widely-reported instances of police brutality and racism in 2020. The racial controversy over law enforcement adds another layer to an already difficult year for minorities, who have experienced a disproportionate amount of death and financial ruin due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which ravaged Detroit in March and April. 

"I hope that each of you has the spiritual support you need. There will be tough days ahead," said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist in a video posted along with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday, "but I know because of the grit, courage, perseverance of the state that we call home..."

And those protests aren't expected to stop, as another rally is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday. City Council Pro Tem Mary Sheffield will be speaking alongside several well-known Detroiters, including rappers Trick Trick and Royce Da Five-Nine. 

The rally is being organized to take place outside the Detroit Association of Black Organizations, off of Grand River.

Daily Forecast

Some sunny skies expected for Monday, even as temperatures aren't forecasted to go to high.

Protesters start fires near the White House, police fire tear gas into crowd

Protesters started fires near the White House as tensions with police mounted during a third straight night of demonstrations held in response to the death of George Floyd at police hands in Minnesota.

An hour before the 11 p.m. curfew, police fired a major barrage of tear gas stun grenades into the crowd of more than 1,000 people, largely clearing Lafayette Park across the street from the White House and scattering protesters into the street.