Peaceful demonstration nearly marred by driver trying to run down protester in Troy

A near tragedy almost ruined a peaceful protest at Coolidge and Big Beaver Monday night.

Police say a 68-year-old driver tried to run down a protester as the crowd was walking back to their cars at the conclusion of the event that drew hundreds outside Somerset Mall.

Nobody was injured and the driver - a Troy man - was arrested by police. For the most part police were able to escort the protest down Big Beaver without a problem and there were no other arrests. 

Protesters sat in the middle of Coolidge Highway outside of Somerset, asking for police to take a knee and officers did. 

The experience overwhelmed a mother from Troy. It was equally as powerful for the officers who took part. 

"We support them," said one officer. "We condemn officers who are not doing the right thing and we are not afraid to call them out. We support (the protesters) in their cause, safely and peacefully. And if they are going to block traffic for a short while, so be it."

Monday's location was not chosen at random. 

“It needs to be in the suburbs and in other communities where the black voice isn’t as prominent," said Marshele Parker, Black Action Movement Network.

The protest was organized by college students and that was reflected in the crowd for the most part. 

As news of a planned protest, spread, Somerset mall prepared and chose to close down, blocking off entrances but in a statement mall officials say they support a peaceful protest. 

“I have to take part of it because there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it and this is the right way," said Jeremiah Reed.

Hundreds marched from the mall to the police station and back sharing stories and personal experiences along the way.