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Detroit Police Chief James Craig: It's not our goal to arrest protesters

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Posted at 1:22 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 14:49:30-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Police Chief James Craig gave an update in a press conference regarding protests Tuesday night.

A total of 127 people were arrested during protests in Detroit Tuesday night, the fifth straight day of protests.

Related: Day 5 of protests: Demonstrators march streets of Detroit despite 8 p.m. curfew

A majority were arrested for defying the 8 p.m. curfew. One person was charged with a misdemeanor disturbing the peace. Originally, Craig said that person was charged with inciting a riot, but after reviewing it, they adjusted it to a much lower charge.

Of the 127 arrested, 47 were from Detroit. Police say six were from out of state.

"Why, why are you here?" Craig asked during his press conference.

As demonstrations continued marching in the city on Tuesday, a group of protesters stopped along Gratiot Avenue and E. Outer Drive after the curfew was in effect. Detroit police officers responded, covering the front and behind protesters.

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

The protesters were zip-tied and placed in a large DPD bus. Chief James Craig addressed media following the incident, saying that he had received a tip that a group of protesters had planned on defying the curfew.

"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.

According to Craig, they had intel that the protests were not going to be as peaceful as Monday's protest, with several people planning to be arrested for violating curfew.

Craig also said that in one instance, a supervisor released gas after several protesters tried pulling him away while he was making an arrest of another protester.