On Tuesday, speaking on Fox News @ Night with host Shannon Bream, Detroit Police Chief James Craig blasted Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for claiming officers abused peaceful protesters and that their actions were “outrageous.”
Craig stated, “What was outrageous, Shannon, was the fact that a peaceful protest — and let me just say, for the past four weeks, we’ve had protests every day. They’ve all been peaceful — there’s something very different about this event. Again, a vast majority, about 300 or so, most of them were peaceful but there were a few agitators embedded. And that’s when things went bad. But to suggest that this protest was peaceful all night certainly is totally inaccurate.”
“And I know that the congresswoman is making claims that they were peacefully marching when we intersected and intentionally hit peaceful protesters. Not the case. They surround the vehicle, they began to pelt the vehicle — not just one of our police cruisers but two of them – and in one instance the rear window of one of our SUVs was broken out. And, the information I got from the officer in that vehicle was that he thought he was being shot at,” Craig said.
And when you look at the pictures and we released several of the videos so the community could see what really happened, and the vast majority of the community is supporting the Detroit Police Department, particularly when they see this video. These were not peaceful protesters; not this group. Twenty to 30 were very agitated, escalated to anger, and then violence. They jumped on the hood. They began to pelt the car. The officers feared for their safety.
And they had to do only one thing: they needed to get out of harm’s way and they did that. This suggestion that it’s unacceptable and that the police officers were violent, I would have preferred that the congresswoman at least took a moment to find out what was going on. We recognize the investigation — we’re very early in the investigation, but we’re talking about violent protesters.
Craig added, “Early on, during the protests, we were met with violence, not like many of our other cities that we saw across the nation. But I gotta tell you: For her and a few others, a minority to suggest that the police performed in an outrageous manner, clearly these officers felt they were in danger, and I’ve talked to a number of police officers; I’ve talked to the union; I’ve talked to community members over the last 24 hours; they support the officers; they can clearly see that they were dealing with a group of violent criminals, not protesters.”
On Monday, Tlaib had tweeted, “This is outrageous. Our city fought hard to have an elected commission to oversee abuse and misconduct by police. Detroit Board of Police Commissioners: I hope you understand the gravity of this, especially if not fully investigated, documented and addressed.”
This is outrageous. Our city fought hard to have an elected commission to oversee abuse and misconduct by police.
Detroit Board of Police Commissioners: I hope you understand the gravity of this, especially if not fully investigated, documented and addressed. https://t.co/wAgXXuID9c
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) June 29, 2020
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