DPD Chief Craig on protesters calling for his resignation: 'I'm not leaving'

Chief James Craig
Posted at 9:21 AM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 09:21:47-04

(WXYZ) — Detroit Police Chief James Craig said he's not going anywhere during an interview on FOX News on Monday night.

Craig, speaking to Martha MacCallum, was asked about the police chiefs around the country who have recently resigned, and the calls for him to resign.

Related: Chief Craig: Judge's ruling on use of tactics with Detroit protesters 'changes nothing'

"I'm not leaving. They have to leave," Craig said of the protesters, adding that Detroiters also want them gone.

"If you talk against this group, you must go. That's their attitude," he said. "I've taken a firm stand here in Detroit. I've been supported by Detroiters."

Protesters with Detroit Will Breathe have called on Craig to resign after clashes a couple of months ago.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Laurie Michelson issued a ruling partially granting a temporary restraining order in the lawsuit filed by activist group Detroit Will Breathe against the City of Detroit and Detroit Police Department.

In the order, Michelson ruled that the city cannot use "striking weapons, chemical agents, or rubber bullets" against the protesters who do not pose a physical threat to the safety of the public or the police. Officers also cannot use chokeholds against the protesters.

Chief Craig said officers have only used force when protesters weren't peaceful, citing six instances over 100 days of protests.

"You know what I find fascinating, and even Rashida Tlaib who was calling for me to resign, let me just say this, when are we going to start talking about disarming criminals?" he said Monday night. "I’ve been on the record, I support law-abiding citizens to be armed, but criminals? So it’s OK to attack police officers? And then, everyone always says one thing: These were peaceful protesters. So I guess when you’re throwing Molotov cocktails, railroad spikes, other projectiles, you’re using green lasers, that constitutes being peaceful."