The Proud Boys showed up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on Saturday and met up with a group of local church counter-protesters.
First Congregational Church hosted a vigil of anti-racism counter-protesters and formed a perimeter around the area of the Proud Boys march.
The Rev. Nathan Dannison, the church’s pastor, addressed the gathered crowd. Dannison urged those present to commit themselves to non-violence and non-aggression.
“Let’s work together to remain peaceful and manifest positive energy with each other, to take care of each other, to take care of our own selves and our own safety, and to defend one another,” Dannison told the crowd.
Then the Proud Boys entered, mostly mask-less, and waved American, Trump, and Gadsden flags, and violence soon broke out with Proud Boys fighting counter protesters with fists, kicks, shoves, and pepper spray.
Samuel Robinson, a reporter with MLive, was among those pepper sprayed. He was also detained by police while recording a Facebook Live video, announcing he was a media member. He later bonded out after being charged with “impeding traffic.”
Counter protesters criticized police afterward for not stepping in sooner to control the situation. Saturday evening the Kalamazoo PD issued a statement.
“The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety had developed plans in accordance with the department’s policies for peaceful protests, and also for a response to the event if it were to turn violent, which included over 100 officers from 5 jurisdictions,” the city wrote. “Once the event turned violent, the officers responded quickly and restored order. To restore order to the area, the officers declared a police zone and dispersed the crowds.”
Source info at MLive.