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Police investigating armed confrontation at Michigan protest

June 24, 2020 GMT

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Police in Michigan are investigating a confrontation in which a man serving as security for a small group of racial injustice protesters pointed an assault-style rifle at a man on a motorcycle.

The motorcyclist last week refused to go around the group blocking an intersection in the state capital of Lansing, protest organizer Paul Birdsong told WLNS-TV for a story Tuesday.

The man pointing the rifle can be heard on video telling the motorcyclist “if you’re going to run us over, I’m going to protect my crowd.”


Birdsong said the man serving as security pointed the gun after the motorcyclist revved his engine.

Demonstrations and unrest spread to Lansing and other cities around the U.S. following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. A white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, even after the handcuffed Black man stopped moving and pleading for air.

Some people protesting police violence against Black people since Floyd’s death have encountered armed bystanders along demonstration routes.

The man hired to perform security at the protest in Lansing was protecting the group, according to his attorney, Lucas Dillon.

“They need protection because people have been threatening them, driving by saying you’re all going to die,” Dillon said.

The name of the man with the rifle has not been released. The motorcyclist has not been identified, WLNS-TV said.