DETROIT, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – It’s been 12 days since protesters first brought their grievances to the streets of Detroit but Tuesday’s demonstration followed a conversation with city leaders, but what was supposed to be a public debrief was met with a public display of criticism.
Detroit Will Breathe organizer Tristan Taylor was accused of being drunk with power by Detroit Charter Commissioner Joanna Underwood, over a movement that has massed thousands of protesters seeking justice for the death of George Floyd.
Underwood says she’s concerned that the mission of the protest is losing focus and that Taylor’s demand to defund the police department is not realistic.
“Nobody is talking about in the city of Detroit which is one of the most violent cities in the country to defund the whole entire police department. The demands that they’re making is not even reasonable,” said Underwood.
The heated exchange was observed by hundreds gathered at DPD headquarters to hear about Taylor’s meeting with Mayor Mike Duggan and Police Chief James Craig regarding a list of demands for police.
But before that information was shared, this happened.
“You taking that meeting with the Mayor and your demands, 23 demands, and you did not reach out to any activists that’s currently working on those issues,” said Underwood.
Taylor’s demands to drop charges against over 400 protesters and discontinue Project Green Light was briefly overshadowed by the dispute at the protest.
But Taylor says the meeting with city leaders ended with no resolution.
“In the end they were like, ‘Oh lets have a follow-up conversation,’ and our assistants were like, ‘Yes we’d love to have a follow-up conversation that’s public and that also is inclusive with all the experts who’s been doing work on many of these issues for a long time,’” said Taylor.
Here is a full list of Detroit will breathe demands to DPD and Mayor Duggan:
The 11 demands that will be prioritized for discussion:
1. Defund and Demilitarize the Police
2. End Project Green Light and Facial Recognition
3. Drop All Charges and Citations received by protestors
4. Do not carry out eviction orders
5. Drop the uneven citations received by Detroiters during the stay at home order
6. End “consensual” sex between Police Officers and those under custody (Legally define all sex in custody as rape)
7. Prosecute and fire any Police Officer involved in police brutality
8. Do not criminalize homeless people
9. Make Detroit A Sanctuary City
10. Create an Independent Office for Disabled Citizens
11. Restore and maintain running water for all Detroiters
The remaining demands that the movement voted to fight for are:
12. Release all non-violent offenses
13. Residency requirement that all DPD officers live in Detroit
14. No use of rubber bullets/ military tactics
15. Decriminalization of all recreational drugs
16. Return residency requirement for DPD
17. Substantial investment for mental health and substance abuse victims
18. More punitive charges against officers who hide badges
19. Duty to intervene for other officers
20. Abolish foreclosures
21. End police union funding of DA office
22. Drop all charges against all protestors
23. More accessible structures for police accountability
24. Care for juveniles instead of jailing
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