Witness: WSUPD, student protesters clash

The Wayne State University Police Department and a witness differed on details of an altercation between officers and student protesters outside State Hall March 3. It was the second consecutive day students rallied against proposed state budget cuts to education.

Tyler Griffis, a South End photo editor, said he saw WSU Police pull down banners outside of the Cass Avenue entrance of the building as protesters attempted to enter. Griffis said an officer “pressed” one masked protester, who was not identified, against the entrance glass doors.

He said another protester then jumped onto the officer. After a few minutes of yelling, the two sides separated, and the protest continued, Griffis said.

But the WSUPD said there was no pushing or shoving.

WSUPD Chief Anthony Holt said the protesters were allowed to enter all buildings besides the Faculty Administration Building but asked them not to chant and yell.

Holt said he was all for protests, but WSU is an institution for education.

“If you disrupt the classes, we’ll ask you to leave,” he said.

Captain Emery Burk also denied any aggressions but admitted he was not in State Hall.

“I was in the Welcome Center trying to get (protesters) out of the building,” Burk said.
Update on protest down Woodward

Holt said the students who marched down Woodward Avenue March 2 did not have permits for the protest. Therefore, Detroit police were obligated to keep protesters off the street. He said it was for the safety of those marching.

Holt said Homeland Security is leading the investigation into the incident where a police car nudged a WSU student, knocking him to the ground and running over his foot.


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