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Detroit Police Chief: 'We're making a decision to support' protesters as they continue past curfew

Posted at 8:49 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 05:18:49-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the department is making a decision to support protesters as hundreds marched down Jefferson Ave. past the 8 p.m. curfew on Wednesday night.

Related: Hundreds protest past curfew in Detroit on sixth night of protests

Craig spoke to the media as the protesters marched along the road, saying "we're making a decision to support them.

"I support the voice. I support the peaceful protest. That's what I'm seeing right now. Right now, I want to support these young people having their voices heard," he added, about 30 minutes after the curfew passed.

Around 8:55 p.m., the protesters decided they were gonna walk back to downtown Detroit down Lafayette Ave. for a "victory march."

On Tuesday, officers arrested more than 120 people, a majority on curfew violations.

"We don't back down to bullies and shields," the protesters chanted before officers moved in and began arrests on Tuesday night.

"It is not our goal, it is not our desire, to arrest protesters. That’s not the outcome this department is looking for," Craig said on Wednesday afternoon before the protests.

The protests are after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. Floyd died in police custody on Memorial Day. Video shows officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes. Chauvin and three other officers were quickly fired and Chauvin was eventually charged with third degree murder.

On Wednesday, the other three officers involved were charged, and Chauvin's charge was upgraded to second degree murder