Demonstrations and destruction follow George Floyd’s death in downtown Detroit.
Rioting, looting, and protesting have infiltrated society as of late following the untimely death of George Floyd by Minneapolis officers. Many metropolitan cities are seeing a significant reaction to the event and the situation, in many parts, is becoming downright dangerous.
In Detroit, a peaceful protest ensued last week, which began with an hour and a half of speeches beginning with Kate Stenvig, national organizer for BAMN (the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary).
“I want to start off by saying that a badge is not a license to kill,” she said. “This is a movement against the people who are taking those things into their own hands.”
The protesting rally not only centered around the death of Floyd and police brutality but included anti-Trump sentiments and topics on immigrant rights. Large Mexican and Cuban flags waved throughout the march as did signs with slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” and “White Silence is Violence.” The demonstration ended when officers were able to dissipate the crowd.
Detroit Police Commissioner Willie Burton said of those protesting, “They were not rowdy. They were a peaceful group. We were making sure the protest remained a peaceful assembly.”
Keith Bennett, director of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, acted as a liaison between law enforcement and participants. “We were told to tell people to get in their vehicles and go home,” he said.
Of course, not all demonstrations have been so peaceful. In fact, property destruction and looting has kept officers busy in and around Detroit.
One such incident police are investigating includes three would-be robbers who smashed into a Little Caesars Pizza twice with a stolen 2005 GMC Yukon. Incidents like these have further devastated restaurants already struggling amid the pandemic to keep their doors open.
“The first time the suspects rammed into the building in the 19100 block of Kelly Road in Detroit, they hit a wall but didn’t bust through,” police said. “Then, they tried smashing into a window, which got them in.”
Once they are able to gain entry, oddly enough, the thieves did find anything they wanted to take and simply bolted from the scene empty-handed. Police said they were alerted to the break-in about 4 a.m. While the perpetrators are still on the run, police will use security video footage to help track them down.
In the meantime, the department posted on its social media: “Smash and grab @littlecaesars on Kelly rd in Detroit. Some pretty significant damage as the SUV slammed thru the front wall. @detroitpolice on the scene investigating. #pizzapizza #hotnotready unsure if this has any relation to protests for #GeorgeFloyd.”
Another smash and grab in the Detroit area occurred at an identified business two weeks prior. Offices said a green Dodge Caravan was involved in the attempted burglary on the city’s east side. “The smash-and-grab took place about 5:40 a.m. on the 3500 block of Conner,” said Corporal Dan Donakowski, a spokesperson for the Detroit Police Department. Only the van was left behind.