Protest in Shelby Township ends in multiple arrests

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 10, 2020


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A protest in Shelby Township in late October ended in a number of protesters being arrested after police said the protest began to get out of control.

The Shelby Township Police Department, through its routine monitoring of social media, became aware of a possible protest march scheduled for 2 p.m. Oct. 24.

At about 1:30 p.m., a group of about 100 protesters had gathered in the parking lot at the southeastern corner of 23 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue. Officers met with the organizers and advised them to stay safe on the sidewalk and to not block or enter the roadway.

According to police, at about 4 p.m., the group left the parking lot and entered eastbound 23 Mile Road, which blocked traffic. After numerous warnings to the group to go back on the sidewalk, they refused, police said.

Seven individuals ended up being arrested during the protest for charges that included felony assault on a police officer. Also, numerous vehicles were issued citations for impeding traffic. While on the scene, police said, one of the arrestees escaped her flex cuffs in the rear of a patrol car and stripped her clothes off and then flashed the crowd and officers outside the vehicle.

The woman was initially arrested for disturbing the peace and resisting or obstructing a police officer. According to police, some false reports that police strip searched her were being circulated.

“It was reported on social media that officers strip searched her, and that was completely false. The incident was captured on our car video system,” said Shelby Township Police Lt. Jeff Daniel.

The department released the in-car video showing the woman removing her clothing in the vehicle and then proceeding to flash people outside the car.

The seven arrestees were charged by the Macomb County Prosecutors’ Office Oct. 26. Five identified by police as of press time included a 26-year-old from Minnesota; a 39-year-old from Detroit; a 33-year-old from Sterling Heights; a 31-year-old from White Lake; and a 37-year-old from Detroit.

All were charged with assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer. Four were charged additionally with disturbing the peace, and one was also charged with refusing or resisting to provide DNA samples.

Bond was set for all parties at $5,000 cash or surety, 10%.

Shelby Township Deputy Police Chief Mark Coil said the department was still investigating the incident.

“The detective bureau is currently reviewing video to identify additional individuals who broke the law and shall obtain warrants for their arrest,” said Coil.