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 The demonstration in Warren began and appeared to end peacefully. Police reported no incidents of violent protest and none were observed over a span of more than two hours.

The demonstration in Warren began and appeared to end peacefully. Police reported no incidents of violent protest and none were observed over a span of more than two hours.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes


Demonstrators march peacefully through Warren, Center Line

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published June 2, 2020

 Police from Warren and Center Line escorted the group of demonstrators along Van Dyke Avenue from Eight Mile Road to 11 Mile Road.

Police from Warren and Center Line escorted the group of demonstrators along Van Dyke Avenue from Eight Mile Road to 11 Mile Road.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

 Demonstrators were met by Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer and the Warren Police Department’s command staff shortly after 5 p.m. on June 2.

Demonstrators were met by Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer and the Warren Police Department’s command staff shortly after 5 p.m. on June 2.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

CENTER LINE/WARREN — Demonstrators gathered near Eight Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue were met by Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer and the Warren Police Department’s command staff shortly after 5 p.m. on June 2.

A group of about 100 people then marched north on Van Dyke to 11 Mile Road, a round trip of six miles despite temperatures in the low 90s, many carrying signs of protest calling out racism, police brutality and the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police late last month.

The demonstration in Warren began and appeared to end peacefully. Police reported no incidents of violent protest and none were observed over a span of more than two hours. Police from Warren and Center Line escorted the group of demonstrators and offered bus transportation back to the staging area. A police source later said the group elected to walk. 

“I was watching the protest in Detroit. I said that we all know Detroit police have their issues. Racism, all that stuff happens, really, in the suburbs,” said Marci Lowery, 39, of Warren, one of the event’s organizers. She said she used Facebook to spread the word.

Earlier in the day, Fouts used social media to offer support for the demonstrators and their right to protest peacefully. The mayor arrived shortly after 5 p.m. and met with the organizers before they started walking north. He was flanked by Dwyer and Warren’s police commanders.

“What happened last week was outrageous,” Fouts said. He later pledged to post a tribute to Floyd on the marquee along Van Dyke, in front of City Hall.

“It’s a nationwide issue. It’s not just Warren,” Fouts said. “We’ve got to have a standard of what’s acceptable for all officers throughout the United States and what’s not acceptable.”

One demonstrator asked the mayor about diversity in the Warren Police Department. 

“We have double digits now. We’re making an aggressive effort,” Fouts said. “We want to continue that. I want everybody in Warren to feel they have adequate representation.”

He later added, “We have more diversity than we’ve ever had. It’s not enough.

“The bottom line is we’re here to remain unified,” Fouts said. “We’re here not to be divided by outside forces. We’re here to support the right to peacefully protest. That’s what I’m here for.”

About halfway through the walk, Lowery said, “I’m glad it went like we planned: peacefully. That’s all.”