DETROIT (AP) — Protesters who have rallied in Detroit streets sued the police department Monday to try to stop the use of batons, shields, tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators.
Detroit has not seen the violence and property destruction experienced by many cities after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. But officers haven’t been reluctant to move in and clear streets after curfew or under other conditions.
Protesters “do not seek to stop the police from doing their jobs,” the lawsuit in federal court states. “They seek an end to the excessive, unjustified, and consistent pattern of violence that has caused serious injury to so many and deterred others from participating in demonstrations at all.”
The lawsuit included photos of police spraying a person who was pinned to the ground. Other photos show bruises and injuries that were alleged to have occurred during conflict with police.
The lawsuit accuses officers of arbitrarily using force and seeks a sweeping ban on certain police tactics.
Police Chief James Craig last week said force doesn’t equal “brutality.” City attorney Lawrence Garcia said recent protests don’t seem aimed at legitimate racial justice concerns.
“What is going on nowadays is more about provocation and public nuisance than bringing power to the people,” Garcia told the Detroit Free Press.