LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – UPDATE (5:47 p.m.): The Michigan State Police confirmed to 6 News that they made an arrest for malicious destruction of property to the Capitol.
The 23-year-old man from Okemos is currently at Lansing jail.
UPDATE (4:46 p.m.): The East Lansing City Council issued a statement in response to the peaceful protest currently underway in East Lansing:
“More than 800 people have walked from Lansing to East Lansing to protest police brutality. The East Lansing City Council wants them to know: We fully support this peaceful protest. We deplore the murder of George Floyd by officers with the Minneapolis Police Department. We acknowledge that East Lansing needs to make significant changes in its own policing. We promise to continue our work to make sure that minorities are safe and protected in East Lansing.”
UPDATE (4:24 p.m.): Reporters from 6 News are on the scene near the East Lansing Police Department where protesters have gathered.
Video shows that some protesters damaged a police vehicle while other protesters went to stop them.
UPDATE (4:19 p.m.): Drivers are being advised to avoid eastbound Michigan Avenue near Kensington Road because of protesters in the roadway, according to the East Lansing Police Department.
UPDATE (4:15 p.m.): President Donald Trump lashed out about protesters on Twitter, calling on local officials to “get tough”
UPDATE (3:32 p.m.): The protests that were planned today were not organized by Black Lives Matter, according to a Facebook post by Black Lives Matter Lansing.
UPDATE (3:29 p.m.): People are throwing water bottles and rocks at a house with Trump signs on Michigan Avenue, according to a reporter from 6 News on the scene.
UPDATE (2:37 p.m.): Multiple road closures are happening around downtown Lansing including I-496 Westbound between Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and US-127 in Lansing as being closed.
Michigan State Police say they will “take enforcement for any violence or destruction that occurs at the capital for today’s demonstration.”
UPDATE (AP): In Detroit, 84 people taken into custody Saturday night while 60 were arrested during demonstrations Friday night and early Saturday morning.
During Detroit’s protest Saturday, a group of demonstrators walked onto a downtown-area freeway in an attempt to take it over, but that stretch of road had already been shut down to traffic, police chief James Craig told reporters.
The group of 200 to 250 people then headed into downtown and toward police headquarters, he said.
“We could tell they were getting somewhat agitated,” Craig said. “We didn’t want them to come close to our building. That’s when the protesters became violent.”
Rocks, other items, and fireworks were thrown at officers, who responded with tear gas to disperse the crowd, he said.
UPDATE (1:58 p.m.): A man was arrested for spray painting on the steps of the Capitol, according to Devin Anderson-Torrez of The State News.
As of this time, this is an unconfirmed arrest that would be the only arrest so far at the largely peaceful protest today. Photos from the scene show the man spray-painted an expletive on the steps of the building.
UPDATE (12:03 p.m.): President Donald Trump congratulated the National Guard this afternoon and lashed out at the mayor of Minneapolis yesterday evening following the response to protests in Minneapolis.
The President also said in a tweet that the “United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.”
At 12:36 p.m. the president also tweeted against the media coverage as “truly bad people with a sick agenda”
UPDATE (11:49 a.m.): Hundreds are protesting police brutality and racial violence at Michigan’s state Capitol.
Many were chanting, “I can’t breathe,” which was heard in the video of George Floyd — a black man who died after being pinned under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer.
ORIGINAL STORY (11:23 a.m.): The ‘Rally Against Police Brutality’ began just around 11:00 a.m. today at the Capitol lawn in Lansing today.
“It’s shocking,” said Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth when asked about his reaction to the incident with George Floyd in Minneapolis. “That can never be tolerated.”
Around the country, peaceful protests involving tens of thousands of people on Saturday gave way, in some places, to rioting, looting, and violence.
In those instances, police vehicles were torched, stores emptied, and objects hurled at officers. The police response varied from restrained to aggressive, with officers at times firing tear gas and rubber bullets.
Police and peaceful protesters alike pleaded for a stop to violence, saying it only hindered calls for justice and reform.
“It only hurts the cause,” said Danielle Outlaw, head of the police force in Philadelphia, where more than 200 people were arrested as fires and looting engulfed Center City.
Disgust over generations of racism in a country founded by slaveholders combined with a string of recent high-profile killings to stoke the anger. Three months before Floyd’s death, Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot as he jogged through a Georgia neighborhood. A white father and son are charged in the slaying. The month after Arbery was killed, an EMT named Breonna Taylor was shot eight times by Louisville, Kentucky, narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door. No drugs were found in her home.
Adding to that was angst from months of lockdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately hurt communities of color, not only in terms of infections but in job losses and economic stress.
“People in communities of color across the nation and right here in Michigan are feeling a sense of exhaustion and desperation. We stand in solidarity with those who are seeking equitable justice for everyone in our state,” tweeted Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Saturday, May 30th along with releasing a statement to encourage communities to designate areas for peaceful demonstrations. The full statement can be seen below:
“As Americans, this is one of the most challenging periods in our lifetimes. People in communities of color across the nation and right here in Michigan are feeling a sense of exhaustion and desperation. Communities are hurting, having felt that calls for equity, justice, safety, and opportunity have gone unheard for too long. We stand in solidarity with those who are seeking equitable justice for everyone in our state. We can’t live in a society and a country where our rights and our dignity are not equal for all. The First Amendment right to protest has never been more important, and in this moment when we are still battling a killer virus, it is crucial that those who choose to demonstrate do so peacefully, and in a way that follows social distancing guidelines to protect public health. Our administration is working closely with local elected officials, public safety, and faith, and youth leaders to encourage communities across the state to designate areas for peaceful demonstrations where people can make their voices heard. There will no doubt be more tough days ahead, but we must pull together and treat our fellow Michiganders with dignity, compassion, and humanity.”On Saturday, May 30th, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II encouraged communities to designate areas for peaceful demonstrations.