The city of Detroit has issued a countersuit against Black Lives Matter, just days after protestors won a restraining order against Detroit police officers.
The protestors’ suit at the end of August alleged that Detroit police routinely “responded with violence” and bars them from using “tools of excessive force.” The court then issued temporary orders to limit the police’s use of force. Less than one month later, city officials filed their official response along with a countersuit against Black Lives Matter and Detroit Will Breathe, the Intercept reports.
Because of our lawsuit, a federal judge has banned Detroit police from using batons, shields, gas, rubber bullets, chokeholds or sound cannons against protesters.https://t.co/XVVWhbDdZY
— Detroit Will Breathe (@DETWILLBREATHE) September 5, 2020
The countersuit says the demonstrators and Detroit Will Breathe are part of a “civil conspiracy” and that they “disturb the peace, engage in disorderly conduct, incite riots, destroy public property,” and other “illegal acts.” The countersuit is asking the court to rule that demonstrators participated in this conspiracy as well as award the city damages, according to the Intercept.
The lawsuit has been criticized by demonstrators, but also by politicians on the left. Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who also has most of Detroit in her district called the suit, “an unthinkable assault on constitutional rights,” reports the Intercept. (RELATED: Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Others Blast Obama For Coming Out Against ‘Defund The Police’ Slogan)
Detroit Police Department Chief, James Craig, told Tucker Carlson that “We do not retreat” and that he will not allow the demonstrators to take over his city’s streets.
The countersuit noted that the city suffered property damage, loss of business opportunities, emotional distress, as well as physical injuries.
For the suit to continue, the Detroit City Council’s internal operations committee must approve for an extension and expansion of a contract with the private law firm being used. This would add an additional year as well some funding, according to the memo received by the Intercept.
Demonstrators have contacted the council to show their opposition to the suit at a meeting in November. The council adjourned after the November meeting and is scheduled to revisit the proposal in January at a closed session.