Residents from outside of Detroit made up majority of weekend arrests during protests

Midland, Port Huron, Saline, Shelby Township, Piqua, Ohio, and Nashville, Tennessee. 

Reading from a list in front of him, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan detailed the origins of much of the protesters who were arrested during the weekend's unrest in the city. 

"They weren't here in the honor of anyone's memory," said Duggan.

"Now let me ask you this," he added, "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?"

Gripped by protests throughout the weekend, Detroit Police officers spent nights on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday deploying crowd control tactics and arresting well over 200 people during a bubbling period of racial tensions that looks more like 1968 and 2020.

On Friday, Duggan said 65% of people who were arrested were not residents of Detroit. On Saturday, 75% of those arrested also did not live in the city. The out-of-city and out-of-state makeup of the unrests, which tended to become more violent as the night grew later, eventually prompted Duggan and Police Chief James Craig to order a citywide curfew starting at 8 p.m.

Craig and Duggan both believe the vast majority of protesters that turned out over the weekend were there with good intentions. It's why the looting and rioting that some cities have experienced haven't been as severe in Detroit, Duggan said. But for those with more malevolent intentions, top public officials believed the troublemakers were organized and communicating with each other.

"Yesterday, many of these leaders and others asked our neighbors from surrounding communities 'please don't come to the city of Detroit to protest, it is jeopardizing us.' and I really had hoped when we left here yesterday that request would be honored," said Duggan. "But when I see higher levels of arrests from outside the city, and most disturbingly now we're starting to see them from other states, I have to act to protect the people."

Well over 100 arrests were made Sunday, the vast majority of those people also coming from outside the city.

After experiencing one of the nation's worst rates of COVID-19, where a disproportionate number of black residents didn't only have their health compromised by the virus, but their businesses as well, tensions that ripped open over the weekend were already high. Following the widely-publicized killing of George Floyd, a black man who had the knee from a white police officer pressed on his neck for almost 10 minutes before he died, protests and riots erupted across the country.