On May 13th Michigan State police put out a video explaining what protesters can expect at the planned protest at the State Capitol on May 14th. They explain in a video that there will be a significant police presence, troopers wearing masks, cops on bikes, K9 units, a mobile command center, and some "different vehicles" to help create a safe environment.
The police asked everyone to adhere to the social--six feet--distancing and said, "please bring your face covering." They also explained that they will be arresting people who brandish guns.
Here's a Facebook link to the whole video. I'm glad they communicated this information. The police made a decision before the last two protests on how to act. They let people break the social distancing laws. This is the third organized protest. The time for "extreme discretion" on violations of social distancing is over. The police know how to cite and arrest people. They know how to take precautions to prevent infecting themselves and others while doing it.
The media will look to see if people openly carrying guns will be arrested. But those not carrying a deadly weapon could be carrying a deadly virus.
I'll be watching to see how many people who broke the social distancing law are cited or arrested. I wrote two pieces on the need to track and details about why to cite violators. I also believe there needs to be a change in the actions and attitudes by the police toward the people at these protests.
Protesters without masks, especially those who willfully break social distancing guidelines are potential bio-terrorists. I'm hoping one of the "different vehicles" at the protest is a hazmat unit.
If the police just give verbal warnings to people who break these laws, they are not doing their job protecting the people of Michigan.
To protect the health of the public lawful emergency orders on social distancing have been put in place. Michigan's public health department supports these orders put in place by the Governor. People who don't follow these orders need to be cited, arrested and prosecuted.
We know that people who don't follow the social distancing laws have spread COVID-19 to their home communities around the state. I referenced this data in my post, Cops Didn't Enforce Law On Anti-lockdown Protesters, COVID-19 Spread The Governor told VP Mike Pence that this is happening.
Gov. Whitmer asked VP Pence to consider discouraging protests. Per audio, she expressed concern about COVID-19 spread b/c of them: "But what we have seen from initial protests here is that we've got COVID-19 spreading in rural parts of our state, from which people traveled."
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) May 11, 2020
Republican elected officials need to stop acting like it's no big deal when people defy these orders. They need to condemn people breaking a law that is designed to save lives.
Will Pence make a statement discouraging protests? If he doesn't, at the next press conference Pence should be asked to publicly defend Whitmer's use of the police to arrest protesters. He should state clearly that by not wearing masks and practicing social distancing COVID-19 is spread.
If Trump uses1 his "very fine people" line following the next protest or complains about the arrests, Pence needs to be asked to explain why they were justified. He needs to be asked by one of those tough female reporters that scare Trump. Pence can't be allowed to talk around the question without an answer either. We have come to expect NOTHING from Mike Pence and it's infuriating.
The public overwhelming supports stay-at-home and social distancing rules. But how do we show it? This cartoon was posted in the comments of my last piece. It summed up in one image the problem with how the media covers these events.
It would be good to line up interviews with people in the rural communities where people got sick from protesters bringing COVID-19 back from the protests in Lansing. I would run photos of the people who died in Michigan in split screen with the footage of the mask-less protesters defying the social distancing rules. Hopefully the footage I can use will be of protesters being cited and arrested.