News & Politics

Detroit Police Banned From Using Most Non-Lethal Tools for Two Weeks


If you can’t defund the police, the next best thing is to make them defenseless. That’s the thinking behind a Detroit protest group that sued the police department for “excessive force” during “peaceful protests.”

The police are to stop using batons, shields, gas, chokeholds, rubber bullets, or sound cannons against peaceful protesters for the next two weeks.

The protest group, Detroit Will Breathe, celebrated the defanging of police.

Fox News:

“For a short period, we know that the police will not be able to use the brutal tactics they have in the past against peaceful protesters without violating a court order,” he said, the Free Press reported.

Chief of Police James Craig says the cops have only moved in when protests became unpeaceful.

“We’re going to continue to do our jobs the way we’ve done it,” he said. “We respect peaceful protesters. We understand the judge’s order and we’ll make sure the protesters understand if there’s any aggression or violation of law, they will get ample notice like we’ve done in the past.”

The protest group is insisting that everything was fine until the police showed up.

Detroit Free Press:

“We are relieved that Detroit Will Breathe will be able to commemorate their 100th day of protest (Saturday) safely and peacefully, without fear of violent retaliation or unlawful arrest by police — that has always been the main goal of this lawsuit…

“Our clients simply seek to exercise their First Amendment right to protest, as countless others have done before them. Whether you agree or disagree with the movement’s message, their conduct is protected by the Constitution. The decision today affirms that we are on the right side of both the law and history.”

“Without violent retaliation”? Retaliation for what? A provocation that involves disobeying lawful orders, becoming aggressive, physical confrontation — these are violations of the law that police have sworn to uphold.

The judge doesn’t think his order hamstrings the police.

Michelson wrote in the order: “The Court recognizes that police officers are often faced with dangerous and rapidly evolving situations while trying to enforce the law and maintain the safety of the public. And it is important that police officers have non-lethal options to use to protect themselves and the public when necessary.

“But the relief that Plaintiffs request leaves open all lawful options for police to use reasonable force when necessary to defend against a threat and to make arrests when supported by probable cause. And any possible benefit police officers could gain from deploying chemical agents, projectiles, or striking weapons against demonstrators who pose no threat and are not resisting lawful commands is outweighed by the irreparable harm peaceful protesters would face.”

In a mob situation where some may deliberately try to provoke the police into a violent response, leaving the police with no way to defend themselves is a nightmare scenario. If the goal of the protest group was to make the job of a peace officer more difficult, they have succeeded.