City of Detroit Countersues Black Lives Matter Protesters
The city of Detroit countersued Black Lives Matter protesters, alleging the group incited riots and destroyed public property. This comes after the city themselves had been sued by BLM protesters.
From the Washington Examiner:
Detroit’s suit alleges that demonstrators who participated in the racial justice protests this summer were a part of a “civil conspiracy” in which they attempted “to disturb the peace, engage in disorderly conduct, incite riots, destroy public property,” and resist police orders, among other “illegal acts.” The suit was filed in September, about a month after activists filed their own suit, alleging Detroit police officers “repeatedly responded with violence,” according to the Intercept.
The lawsuit resulted in a judge issuing a temporary order limiting the city’s police officers from using striking weapons, chemical agents, and rubber bullets against demonstrators, medical support personnel, and legal observers.”
The city’s suit counters that the protests were not protected under the First Amendment because “the protests in Detroit have repeatedly turned violent, endangering the lives of police and the public.”
In a September Fox News interview, Craig argued that the demonstrations in Detroit were not typical protests:
Detroit Police Department Chief James Craig, who was named as a defendant in the protesters’ suit, has called the demonstrators “criminals” and “misguided radicals” who “incite violence.” He has also accused the group of being “coordinated,” “planned,” and “financed” by “a Marxist ideology” trying to “undermine our government as we know it.”
Protests and riots broke out in many major American cities over the summer following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. The upheaval intensified after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
While many on the left and in the media defended the demonstrations as “peaceful protests,” critics pointed out that the demonstrations often turned violent and destructive.
A September Axios report detailed the extent of the damage caused by the demonstrations, which resulted in $1-$2 billion in damage paid by insurance claims.
To put that number into perspective, Axios pointed out that Hurricane Isaias is expected to result in $3-$5 billion in insurance losses, while the prior record for losses due to civil unrest before 2020 was $775 million during the 1992 Rodney King demonstrations.