- Associated Press - Monday, June 29, 2020

DETROIT (AP) - A demonstration in Detroit against police brutality and racial injustice became violent as two police vehicles were damaged amid demands by one group that authorities investigate the actions of the officers.

No injuries were reported from the protest Sunday night on the city’s southwest side, police Chief James Craig told reporters Monday.

Protests have been held in the city and across the U.S. since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, who was Black and handcuffed, died after a white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even as Floyd begged for air and eventually stopped moving.

Craig showed dashcam footage from the two vehicles Sunday. Footage from one showed a group of protesters converging in front of one police vehicle and at least two protesters jumping on its hood.

The vehicle’s rear window was smashed and the officer driving began to accelerate because it wasn’t clear if “they were being fired upon,” Craig said.

The video showed at least one protester falling from the hood to the street.

The second recording shows a group of protesters encircling another police vehicle. Audio from the dashcam reveals the sound of pounding on the vehicle before the officer drives away.

Craig said the demonstration was “eerily similar” to protests in Detroit in the days after Floyd’s death, when there were confrontations between demonstrators and police. He blamed the Sunday night unrest on “agitators” in the crowd.

A video taken Sunday by activist Ethan Ketner and later posted to social media shows protesters chanting “no justice, no peace” in front of a stopped Detroit police SUV that has its overhead lights and warning siren on.

As the SUV begins to slowly pull forward, some protesters appear to scramble out of the way while one man lays his back on the front of the vehicle’s hood. The SUV then stops again before pulling forward as more people congregate in front of it.

At least one man is seen clinging to hood as the SUV accelerates with a number of protesters giving chase.

“We stand for justice,” Ketner told The Associated Press. “We stand up against systemic racism. We stand until black lives matter worldwide. Until we get justice, there will be no peace.”

Protest organizer Gabriela Alcazar, 32, told the Detroit Free Press that the officers were the aggressors on Sunday night.

“It was awful and attempted vehicular manslaughter against clearly peaceful protesters,” said Alcazar, of the Black Brown Alliance.

Alcazar said she was at the protest but didn’t witness the incident in which protesters were on the police vehicle or were struck by it. Alcazar said she spoke to others who witnessed it and added that she viewed video of the incident.

She said her group is “very concerned, and we definitely demand a thorough investigation take place.”


Associated Press writer Alex Sanz in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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