Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer led a protest in Highland Park, Michigan Thursday without social distancing, according to the Detroit News.
Whitmer stood shoulder to shoulder with Michiganders protesting the death of George Floyd, and police brutality. (RELATED: Terrence Floyd, Brother Of George Floyd Says ‘I’m Proud Of The Protests, But I’m Not Proud Of The Destruction’)
While Whitmer and most of the other protesters were wearing masks, they did not appear to be practicing social distancing. However, a spokesperson for Whitmer told The Detroit News that the protest did not violate the governor’s executive order on social distancing, because protests are guaranteed rights under the First Amendment. (RELATED: Gov. Whitmer: ‘I’m Never Going To Apologize’ For Shutting Down Michigan)
“I will never be able to fully understand the pain that Black and Brown communities are forced to bear, but I will spend my life fighting for the justice and peace that everyone deserves,” Whitmer tweeted Thursday.
Today, we marched.
I will never be able to fully understand the pain that Black and Brown communities are forced to bear, but I will spend my life fighting for the justice and peace that everyone deserves. pic.twitter.com/Nz9NpcHHnt
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) June 4, 2020
The governor has previously criticized anti-lockdown protesters, saying they could increase the spread of the virus.
“These protests, they do undermine the effort, and it’s very clearly a political statement that is playing out where people are coming together from across the state, they are congregating, they’re not wearing masks, they are not staying six feet apart and then they go back home into communities and the risk of perpetuating the spread of COVID-19 is real,” she said last month.