Detroit police, Black Lives Matter protesters agree on rules of engagement as suit goes on

September 19, 2020, 8:13 AM

Detroit Will Breathe, the protest group whose leaders sued the city last month over what it called overly aggressive police tactics, has reached an agreement with police over the rules of engagement at future protests. 

Protester Nakia Wallace in a police choke hold this summer (File photo)

The agreement does not settle the lawsuit, but does eliminate the need for another hearing, scheduled Sept. 29, on a preliminary injunction requested by Detroit Will Breathe. The two sides had been under the terms of a temporary restraining order, which prohibits police from using certain crowd-control tactics against peaceful protesters. The groups has led marches on a near-daily basis all summer, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The Detroit Free Press reports:

The order issued Friday says: "Nothing in this order suspends any laws that prohibit violent or destructive actions by protesters or prevents Detroit police from reasonably and lawfully protecting themselves and the public against violence perpetrated by protesters that could harm officers or the public (including protesters throwing objects at police, such as frozen water bottles, bricks, bottle rockets or cherry bombs)."

It also says police can still use "reasonable force" against protesters "who violate any laws or resist arrest." Craig said after police and protesters clashed on Aug. 23, several protesters tried to free their comrades from officers who were arresting them. 

An attorney for the protesters, Jack Schulz, claimed a victory for Detroit Will Breathe:

"Less than a week ago, it was the city’s position that they wanted to be relieved of this temporary restraining order, and today the city agreed to be subjected to it until the end of this lawsuit."

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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