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Armed Agitators Attacked Police Cars During Protest: Detroit Police Chief

U.S. News Chloe 1weeks ago (06-29) 6Views 0Comments

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Armed Agitators Attacked Police Cars During Protest: Detroit Police Chief

A group that included agitators armed with hammers attacked two police cars late Sunday, Detroit Police Chief James Craig told reporters on Monday.

A group of 25 to 30 that included individuals wearing “Black Lives Matter” shirts surrounded one of the cars, blocking the vehicle’s pathway and jumping on the SUV’s hood.

The police officer driving the SUV was driving slowly until the rear window was smashed.

“Officers reported that once they heard the rear window smashed … they were not certain that they were not being fired upon,” the police chief said.聽“They accelerated to get out of there in the event they were being fired upon.”

That’s when they accelerated, causing many of the group to disengage with the vehicle.

Several males who had hopped onto the hood held on when the driver accelerated. After stopping briefly, the driver sped away, reaching speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.

“The officers did the right thing,” Craig said.聽“They had to take quick, evasive action.”

Armed Agitators Attacked Police Cars During Protest: Detroit Police Chief A Detroit Police Department vehicle with a smashed rear window. (Detroit Police Department)

If officers had waited, their vehicle may have been breached, he added.

The situation unfolded on Vernor Highway.

The investigation is still ongoing.

The group included people who officers reported shortly beforehand were armed with hammers, Craig said. Officials aren’t sure what was used to break the window. They suspect it was a skateboard.

Craig read a text message he said was from a woman who was at the protest before leaving.

“They were plotting to provoke the police. As I was leaving, I saw those same guys hitting the police vehicle for no reason,” the unnamed woman said in the message.

Armed Agitators Attacked Police Cars During Protest: Detroit Police Chief Protesters walk past the entrance to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich., on June 7, 2020. (Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images)

The protest started out with no problems earlier Sunday before swelling to 300 to 350 people, according to police officials, who said most of the protests in recent weeks have been peaceful.

Once protesters began getting violent, they move into a criminal status, Craig said. He described some of the group as agitators, noting that rampant destruction was wrought by those types of individuals in late May.

The violent behavior Sunday included the several people who jumped onto the police car, he said.

Video footage showing one angle of what happened circulated widely Sunday night, leading to accusations that officers rammed protesters. It wasn’t clear how many people, if any, were injured. Police officials said they’re not aware of any injuries.

Jae Bass, 24, one of the males who were on the hood, said he stood in front of the vehicle to try to stop the police officer from continuing to drive.

“In response to that, he just floored it,” Bass told the Detroit Free Press. “He went super fast. Me and a couple of other organizers that were with me, just went flinging off. We went flying off. He ran over a couple people’s arms, feet. He ran over her phone. I think I was the last person on the car. I was just holding onto the car. I could feel him speeding up and then he did one of these and he flinged me off the car.”

Bass was one of the group that surrounded two officers earlier in the evening before the officers returned to their vehicle and drove away.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Focus News: Armed Agitators Attacked Police Cars During Protest: Detroit Police Chief

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