Detroit will dismiss most misdemeanor citations issued last spring during several days of protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a city official said Tuesday.
Most of the tickets written from May 31 through June 2 were for curfew violations as hundreds of people demonstrated in downtown Detroit. The city expects to dismiss 238 of the 245 tickets issued on those three days, Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia said.
Dozens of demonstrators received appearance citations for violating the city’s 8 p.m. curfew, 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 weren’t submitted to court, and many protesters weren’t ticketed even though they were out after curfew, he said.
“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.
Prosecutors in Los Angeles also decided not to charge thousands of protesters arrested for violating curfew and other police orders.
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.