George Floyd Protests

Brandon Betz announces draft resolution to partially defund the Lansing Police Department.
Brandon Betz/ Facebook

After a white police officer killed George Floyd in May, there have been nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic injustice. Now, calls to defund the police have grown louder across the country.

In Lansing, one city council member is proposing cutting the city’s police budget in half over a 5-year period and redirecting that money to other public safety initiatives.


Beverly Boatley (far right, standing) attended an NAACP Peace March in Lansing in June to protest police brutality and promote ending qualified immunity. Her grandson was killed by police in Arizona.
Abigail Censky, WKAR

Legislators in Lansing are offering incremental reforms that experts and even police themselves say won’t make much difference in reducing police violence and holding rogue officers accountable.


Signs hang on a wrought iron fence outside of the state capitol. Wednesday’s march was the latest in Lansing as part of a nationwide swell of protests for Black lives and against police brutality in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.
Abigail Censky, WKAR

“Black Lives Matter” boomed from loudspeakers, echoing across the lawn of the Michigan State Capitol at the NAACP’s “We Are Done Dying March.”

Wednesday’s march was the latest in Lansing as part of a nationwide swell of protests for Black lives and against police brutality in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.

Protestors in Grand Rapids
Tone Fields

51 years ago this month, police raided a gay bar in New York City called the Stonewall Inn. During the raid, patrons fought back when police got violent, and several days of riots followed.

The next year, the LGBTQ+ community commemorated those riots with a parade. Since then, Pride has been celebrated in June in honor of the first riot at Stonewall.

This year’s Pride in the Capital Region is different.

marchers on street
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

In the wake of a string of acts of police brutality, many protestors are calling for cities to defund their local police departments.  That cry is even being heard in Lansing.  Defunding a police force doesn’t necessarily mean shutting it down.  While some in law enforcement are open to calls for reform, others are resistant.

 


Protesters have staged nightly protests in Lansing against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd. Now, those protests have turned into calls to defund the Lansing Police and for Mayor Andy Schor to resign.
Abigail Censky, WKAR

More than one hundred protesters gathered on the state capitol steps Sunday marking a week of protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man, by a white police officer.