Another protest planned for Detroit on Sunday after the last rally turned ugly


Detroit police clad in riot gear form a barricade outside Public Safety Headquarters. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Detroit police clad in riot gear form a barricade outside Public Safety Headquarters.

Protesters are planning to gather in downtown Detroit for a third straight day to rally against police brutality and the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis cops after a demonstration turned ugly Saturday night.

Detroit police used pepper spray on protesters and some journalists on Saturday night after showing restraint for most of the past two days. Detroit is investigating two cops who were seen pushing a protester to the ground, a city official confirmed

Sunday’s rally begins at 4 p.m. in front of Detroit Public Safety headquarters downtown.

During a press conference late Saturday night, Police Chief James Craig said that officers came under attack after police with riot shields and helmets formed a line to prevent protesters from reaching Public Safety Headquarters.

“We did not want them to come too close to our building for obvious reasons, and that’s when the protesters turned violent,” Craig said during an interview streamed on Facebook. “They began to throw projectiles, from rocks and M-80 grenades, at officers. We learned that a number of them came with ice chests that had a number of bricks. So it became a violent situation at that point.”

At one point, an officer swatted a recording device from the hands of a Free Press journalist. Other reporters were peppers-sprayed.

Both rallies started off peacefully, and local organizers were calling on protesters to show restraint.

On Friday, some protesters attacked police cars with rocks, bricks, and bottles. When the sun went down both nights, some smaller groups began confronting police.

Protests turned violent in cities across the nation, including in Grand Rapids, where windows were smashed and cars were lit on fire.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.