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Detroit police break up massive brawl in Greektown

Greektown Brawl.png
Posted at 7:20 AM, Jun 06, 2021

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Several people were arrested early Sunday morning following a massive brawl in Detroit's Greektown area. Spectator video shows a dozen people engaged in a physical altercation. Some officers were injured, according to the Detroit Police Department.

The fight broke out around midnight outside the Five Guys restaurant on Monroe Street. Witnesses say the fight stemmed from an argument between two groups and quickly escalated.

Police officers trying to break up the fight were pushed and shoved.

“When the sun goes down it turns into a different type of area,” said Caleb Wilson, an artist who sells his art in Greektown. “I'm so used to it now so I kinda understand when the energy is shifting. So when the energy shifts, I make sure I get out of here.”

It was the first week since the pandemic began that bars could stay open until 2:00 am. On Wednesday night another fight happened in Greektown, and a police officer trying to break it up was shoved to the ground.

On Friday, the city’s new Interim Police Chief James White sat down with 7 Action News, and said they were planning patrols this weekend preparing for a crowd.

“Our part of it is to do the patrols, be visible, to have the police presence to hopefully reduce it (crime),” White said. "When you have that police visibility... those who are there to do something nefarious will look and see those officers and make better decisions.”

Despite the police presence, violence still broke out again. Like on Wednesday, the department says officers trying to stop the fight were assaulted and some were injured.

“They don’t respect the police you know, it’s real bad,” said restaurant goer Amanda H. “This never happened back in my day when I was growing up. It’s sad.”

The police were out in full force again Sunday, as restaurants and bars were packed with people enjoying the weather.

"Days like this it’s just beautiful," Wilson said outside his art stand. "It’s crazy how it goes from this to that.”

The viewer who sent in the video told Action News that it was mostly a younger crowd in the fight, guessing in their late teens and early 20’s. Some restaurant owners say they’ve noticed a late night crowd too young for the bars hanging out in the streets.

One business owner who spoke to us didn’t want their name used fearing pushback against her business.

"This is not a place to come and hang out and feel that you can do whatever you want,” the owner said.

Others out in Greektown Sunday suggest other measures to keep the young crowd home at night.

"Get a curfew," Amanda said. "I think that will help.”

For now, police say they are continuing to review traffic and safety plans to keep downtown safe at all times of the day.

"We want them to come down and enjoy but we don’t want gun violence, we don’t want fights,” Interim Chief White said.

Police said they are aware of the video on social media and are reviewing it, along with body cam footage.