DETROIT (Dispatches) -- Weeks of protests against racial injustice continued Saturday as demonstrators marched on the city’s west side following the death of a Black man who was shot by police a day earlier.
Protesters began marching at the intersection of McNichols and San Juan, near the location where Detroit Police officers shot and killed 19-year-old Hakim Littleton while making an arrest of another individual. The protests continued on to 7 Mile and the Lodge Freeway before circling back around.
Littleton’s older brother, Rashad Littleton-Schafer, spoke after the protesters finished their route shortly after 8 p.m. and said he is demanding a sit-down with Police Chief James Craig and Mayor Mike Duggan.
"My brother was a good, good man. He was a warrior,” Littleton-Shafer said. "I want to let everyone know this, including Chief James Craig, the mayor of Detroit. I want a meeting with them by next week.”
The peaceful protest included about 200 people and was organized by Detroit Will Breathe. Most had dispersed after Littleton-Shafer spoke. Organizer Tristan Taylor invited demonstrators to return Sunday for the 45th day of protests. Taylor also emphasized themes of unity and encouraged people to continue conversations about the movement and other recent events.
"What we are doing is so difficult, that’s why it’s rare. What we are doing is making history,” Taylor said. "... I really do think for the movement to grow, and for our leadership to be more collective, more firm, we have to have mass meetings where we have debate and discussion and have conversations on how to move forward.”
Chants ranged from "Black Lives Matter” to anti-Craig and Duggan epithets and calls for the city to end its use of facial recognition software to identify potential crime suspects. Advocates say the practice disproportionately misidentifies Black people.
About 300 people gathered for the impromptu protest Friday and several members of the crowd threw bottles, bricks and other projectiles at officers, who deployed tear gas, the chief said. Two officers were injured during the arrests, Craig said.
Eight people were arrested Friday night but all were released by the early morning hours.
Demonstrations have erupted across the country, including Detroit, since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.