Detroit police cruiser drove through crowd of protesters, video shows

Detroit Police Car

Detroit Police Car

Detroit Police Chief James Craig held a briefing earlier today and said the officers did the right thing, given the situation.

The police officer driving the SUV was driving slowly until the rear window was smashed.

According to WJBK-TV, police spokesperson Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood said that police were attempting to redirect traffic when the crowd of protesters became agitated and surrounded the vehicle. "They accelerated to get out of there in the event they were being fired upon".

Officers appeared to engage their lights and sirens before they started moving. After stopping briefly, the driver sped away, reaching speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. Craig then said that things changed because of "a few agitators". "They had to take quick, evasive action".

This came about after his officers were accused of provoking and then escalating violence as protesters were trying to assemble in Detroit's Patton Park.

The situation unfolded on Vernor Highway. Craig kept repeating that most of the protesters were peaceful but says that police began to get reports of protesters carrying hammers and two police vehicles were attacked. They suspect it was a skateboard. "I think police haven't seen that in a while, so they don't know how to control that".

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"They were plotting to provoke the police". "As I was leaving, I saw those same guys starting to hit the police vehicle for no reason". He also showed several pictures of the damaged police vehicles which had a broken rear window, a dented hood and a large scratch on the side.

A video posted online late Sunday night appears to show a Detroit Police Department patrol vehicle ramming its way through an angry crowd of protesters.

Eyewitnesses say several people were injured in the incident.

"If you're sitting in that police vehicle and suddenly you're blocked", Duggan said Monday, "what is your response to this crowd banging on the auto and climbing on the vehicle and trying to get at you?" And that was fine, there were four police cars, we started walking through the cars without incident. The incident took place Sunday during one of the many protests still taking place around the country. Police could not provide details on possible injuries Monday; a spokesperson for Mayor Mike Duggan said no EMS units were sent to the scene.

Jae Bass, a 24-year-old Detroiter, was one of the demonstrators thrown off the hood of the police-marked SUV.

"The officer tried to escape", the department told the Detroit News. "He went super fast. So myself and the other organizer of the group, we made a decision to stand our ground right in front of the police officer". We went flying off. The video shows protesters surrounding the auto and one person sits on top of the auto, signs then cover the dash board before the vehicle speeds off through the crowd.

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