Kalamazoo group to revise how police respond to protests
In a meeting that stretched into two nights and featured more than 100 public comments, Kalamazoo City Commissioners vowed not to let police repeat mistakes made over the past few months when dealing with protests.
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is under fire for employing riot gear and tear gas during Black Lives Matter protests in June and then being hands-off until violence erupted during a right-wing rally over the weekend.
They’re also being criticized for arresting local protesters, including a reporter and a legal observer, while allowing out-of-town agitators from the “Proud Boys” white supremacist group to leave unhindered.
Monday’s regular board meeting ran well into Tuesday morning as residents called for city officials to be held accountable for the missteps.
Tuesday night, board members decided to form a subcommittee to address concerns. The group, which will consist of Vice Mayor Patrese Griffin and Commissioners Chris Praedel and Eric Cunningham, will develop standards for how KDPS should handle future protests, rallies, and other large gatherings.
Commissioners also suggested reviewing how police handled the last rally. That review will be added to an ongoing, independent investigation of how police responded to protests in June.
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