LANSING, Mich. — Lansing Police Chief Darryl Green responded to the protests in Lansing by people upset with the death of George Floyd in addition to calling for an end to police brutality.
Chief Green announced the Lansing Police Department will be launching an internal review of the protest turned violent back on May 31.
The May 31 protest marked the first protest held for Floyd held in Lansing. Although it started out peaceful, it didn't end that way.
The City of Lansing said the May 31 protest, which began as a peaceful protest, turned violent when a "group of rioters attempted to assault a female in a vehicle on the 100 block of south Washington Avenue," according to a press release from the City of Lansing.
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.
"As a result, we will examine our actions which include the use of non-lethal killable ammunitions, equipment and policies as a result of this incident and further provide additional reports to the Board of Police Commissioners and the mayor's office," Chief Green said.
At this time, there's no timeline for when that review will wrap up.
Nationally, "defund police" has become a rallying cry after videos have circulated online showing officers sometimes violently putting down protests against police brutality.
The "defund" movement started spreading online last week. Supporters say the current system is too expensive and isn't working and the money would be better spent elsewhere.
Back in 2019, the Lansing Police Department had a budget of almost $45 million. Protesters have been pressuring Mayor Andy Schor to put it toward public schools and programs for the black community.
Chief Green said he would prefer to make that happen without taking money from the police.
"I think that proper funding of all of those entities is valuable and certainly important," Chief Green said. "I believe in supporting the police department with more assets and more resources particularly for training."
Sunday night, Mayor Schor told protesters he'd be willing to cut $100,000 from the police budget, however, they say that's not enough.
We're told the mayor was going to discuss it with his staff Monday, however, Fox 47 reached out to his office for comment but haven't heard back at this time.
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