Detroit police officers who drove through crowd of protesters feared ambush, chief says

DETROIT — Detroit Police Chief James Craig said officers “did the right thing” when they fled a crowd of protesters Sunday night, resulting in some of the demonstrators being bounced off the hood of their police vehicle.

The footage was captured on video and shared via Facebook in a post that has now gone viral.

During a Monday news conference, Craig shared three videos, including two from the cruisers involved in the incident.

According to MLive.com, the first video shows protesters draped across and jumping on the hood of the vehicle, but the view is obstructed by a protester’s sign. As the car accelerates away from the crowd, people are clearly visible on the hood of the vehicle.

Craig said the crowd totaled about 25-30 protesters and the vehicle reached roughly 25 mph before people were flung from the hood to the ground.

The second video depicts the same scene but shows what happened from the rear of the car protesters surrounded. That vehicle was able to leave the scene unimpeded, MLive.com reported.

According to WXYZ, Craig said the officers were trying to block the group of about two dozen protesters which had become agitated as the night progressed. The officers attempted to turn the demonstrators in a different direction, and that’s when the cars were surrounded.

“If you run into an ambush situation, the proper course is to get out for your safety,” he said.

Craig said the officers took off after the crowd turned hostile and smashed out the back window of the cruiser and were uncertain if they were being fired upon as they fled, WXYZ reported.

“Once they heard the rear window smash, it was very loud. They (were) not certain that they were not being fired upon, so it was important to them to get out of there for their safety and certainly the safety of others,” Craig said.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing Craig said.


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