The city of Detroit said Tuesday it will dismiss most misdemeanor citations issued last spring during several days of protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Most of the tickets written May 31 and June 2 were for curfew violations as hundreds of people demonstrated in downtown Detroit. In all, the city expects to dismiss 238 of the 245 tickets issued on those three days, said Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia.
Dozens of demonstrators violated Detroit’s curfew requiring people to be off city streets after 8 p.m. and received appearance citations, Garcia said in a statement. Others were ticketed for disruptive or violent behavior. Police made arrests and used tear gas to disperse some of the crowds.
“In the many months since those tickets were issued, the city Law Department and police department have worked to study videotape and other evidence from the events in question,” Garcia said.
Citations written on June 1 never were submitted to court, while many protesters were not ticketed at all despite being out after curfew, he added.
“Although certain cases from these two dates will be pursued, the city believes it is best to dismiss the vast majority of citations,” Garcia said.
Protests erupted in cities across the country after Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after a white officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed. In addition to those in Detroit, charges that stemmed from demonstrations in some other U.S. cities also have been dismissed.
The Denver City Attorney’s Office dismissed 320 cases involving people who were arrested for violating a curfew. And the Harris County District Attorney’s office in June dismissed charges against about 600 people tied to protests in Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is scheduled to stand trial in March for second-degree murder in Floyd's death. Three other former officers are scheduled to be tried in the summer on aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter charges.
Williams reported from West Bloomfield, Michigan.