A group of Macomb County Democrats calls on Prosecutor Pete Lucido to dismiss criminal charges against protesters who were arrested in Shelby Township in October while holding a demonstration against racism.
The group, now known as the “Shelby 5,” faces felony charges for their role in a peaceful anti-racism protest that disrupted traffic on 23 Mile Road and Van Dyke. “It’s time to move on,” the North Macomb Democratic Club says in a letter delivered to Lucido, a Republican, on Wednesday.
He’s also being asked to investigate whether the arrests of Detroit Will Breathe protesters involved police brutality and injuries. The prosecutor’s office declined to comment.
Lucido’s team moves toward trial
The five are charged with offenses that include assaulting, resisting and/or obstructing a police officer, and disturbing the peace. The prosecutor’s office has shown no willingness to drop the pending charges, instead pushing toward a trial.
Their cases in 41A District Court in Shelby Township were adjourned in February after an assistant prosecutor told defense attorneys he’ll provide more video evidence of the confrontation from a police perspective.
The five protesters are James Deininger of Sterling Heights, David Mitchell of Detroit, Jessica Nadeau of Minnesota, Samantha Phillips of White Lake Township and Tristan Taylor of Detroit. They range from 21 to 37 years old and were released on bond shortly after the incident.
Backers drafted a resolution that goes beyond closing the cases, demanding an investigation of the “extent of the police brutality” that occurred.
“Dozens of videos and eyewitness accounts have detailed the police brutality on demonstrators during the peaceful rally in Shelby Township,” according to the resolution. “Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido, or his designee, must conduct a full, fair, and independent investigation into the conduct of the Shelby Township police officers who were present.”
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This is an excerpt of a column I wrote for Deadline Detroit.