Politics

Whitmer Rips Trump for Threatening to Send Federal Agents to Detroit

July 21, 2020, 8:01 PM by  Allan Lengel

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Gov. Whitmer and President Trump

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer chastised President Trump for threatening to send federal law enforcement agents to Detroit to control Black Lives Matter protesters.

"Quite frankly, the president doesn’t know the first thing about Detroit," Whitmer said in a statement Tuesday. "If he did, he would know that for nearly two months now, Detroiters have gathered to peacefully protest the systemic racism and discrimination that Black Americans face every day.

"There is no reason for the president to send federal troops into a city where people are demanding change peacefully and respectfully."

Others weighed in as well, including Attorney General Dana Nessel, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

The president had suggested possibly sending federal law enforcers to deal with protesters in Chicago, Detroit, New York and Philadelphia -- cities run by "liberal Democrats," as he put it. He already sent agents to Portland, which has caused controversy. 

Detroit has been relatively calm during protests in comparison to some cities that have seen looting and arson. 

"President Trump’s politically motivated threat to send ‘more federal law enforcement’ to Detroit, among other cities, has nothing to do with protecting public health or safety," Nessel said. "It is about using the power of his office as a cudgel to punish those who use their constitutionally guaranteed rights to express views he disagrees with."

Mayor Duggan and Chief Craig issued a joint statement:

"Neither the City of Detroit nor the Detroit Police Department has had any contact from any representative of the federal government about any plans to sends DHS officers to Detroit.  There could be no possible justification for such an action. The Detroit Police Department has had the support of the Detroit community in making sure our City did not have a single store looted or a single fire started during the protests."

"Unlike nearly every other major city in the country, the Detroit Police Department never requested assistance from the National Guard -- we handled our issues as a community.  We definitely have no need for any federal presence being sent in now."



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