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UPDATE: LPD says 12 arrested following weekend protest, organizers say they worked to keep protest peaceful

 (Source: WILX)
(Source: WILX) (WILX)
Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 10:18 AM EDT
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The Lansing Police Department said 12 people were arrested following the past weekend's protest which turned violent.

The City of Lansing orginially stated 13 people were arrested based off of preliminary information, according to LPD.

The city said the events led to a loss in thousands of dollars of damage to private and public property.

In a news release, the city said what began as a peaceful protest, turned violent when "a group of rioters attempted to assault a female in vehicle on the 100 block of South Washington Avenue."

The city said Michigan State Police responded to protect the female and were surrounded by rioters that began throwing bottles and rocks at them.

Lansing Police officers responded to the scene, evacuating MSP officers and the female, the city said.

The city said people refused to leave the area and overturned the female's car, smashed windows and set fire to it. Another vehicle was also overturned and the windows of several buildings were smashed in addition to looting, assaulting police officers with rocks and bottles and staring several dumpster fires, the city said.

Due to the circumstances surrounding the protest turned violent, police "dispersed chemical agents in attempts to dissuade ongoing, intensifying and dangerous criminal activity, to protect public and private property from felonious assaults, looting, arson, and most importantly, to protect the lives of innocent citizens," the city said.

Several windows were broken at the Lansing Police Department Sunday night and a city-wide curfew was put into effect beginning at 9 p.m. and lasting until 5 a.m. Monday morning.

On Monday, city officials told News 10 they're proud of how the city is pulling together after Sunday night's events.

"It's been mentally, physically and emotionally draining for us. Some people same I'm an elected official first. No, I'm a black woman first. These images have struck a chord, and really shown that there is a breaking point in communities across the state and here in Lansing," said Representative Sarah Anthony.

She said despite what happened Sunday night, seeing everyone come together Monday to help put the city back together has been the best day she's experienced all year.

Organizers of the protest at the State Capitol told News 10 they worked hard to make sure it stayed peaceful, only to watch as it descended into chaos by nightfall.

"The vast majority of people that were there for our rally yesterday were there for the right reasons. Somewhere along the line that shifted and we saw people coming in for the different reasons, and that's where you saw the destruction start to happen and the protest turned from justified anger and outcry into an unjust, terrifying situation that's not going to get anyone anywhere," said Jordan Davis, one of the organizers for the Capitol protest.

Davis said legitimate protesters need to find a way to express their concerns without bringing the chaos and violence into the picture.

"There are a lot of mixed emotions. We don't want to forget the important issues. We don't want to forget that this doesn't replace the fact that we're angry about what happened in Minneapolis and innocent black people who have been killed recently...but that doesn't mean we destroy the city. Things went south. There were some people that did the wrong thing and it turned into a lot of people who did the wrong thing. That was very difficult," said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor.

The city said LPD accounted for eight arrests and Michigan State Police accounted for four arrests.

LPD provided the following breakdown on the arrests:

Arrested for riot-related crime(s):

• 47-year-old white male from Lansing, MI

Arrested for Curfew violation:

• 25-year-old white male from Lansing, MI

• 22-year-old black male from Lansing, MI

• 22-year-old white male from Lansing, MI

• 30-year-old black male from Lansing, MI

• 23-year-old white male from St. Louis, MI

• 20-year-old black female from Grand Ledge, MI

• 21-year-old Hispanic Male from Mason, MI

The city said LPD officers are continuing to check out the damage and are working with business owners. The city said officers will be present downtown along with MSP and the National Guard Monday.

LPD is asking anyone with information regarding any crimes that took place during Sunday night's events to call the department at 517-483-4600.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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