Time to investigate these Michigan State Police actions – UPDATED

After the pepper spray last week, I have been asking people to approach the MSP with some tolerance and understanding. I still encourage people to approach the MSP with solidarity and thoughtful consideration. I also thank the Michigan State Police for engaging with the public on their Facebook page and on Twitter. However in spite of this there are four incidents in particular that the MSP should investigate.

1. Michigan State Police troopers entered the House floor yesterday, allegedly over Democratic objections. This is probably the most alarming thing to me, primarily because it is very uncommon to have armed troopers enter the House floor. Here’s the FB statement (linked earlier)

Michigan State Police Hi Christine — Troopers passing near the House Floor were waved over by a representative. Not knowing the issue, they began to respond, but were assured by the House Sergeant at Arms that there was no issue. The troopers then left.

Seems odd that the Democrats would object to that. What Representative called them in? Certainly a Republican. An investigation will clear all of this up so we can put it behind us.

2. Troopers were recording spraying mace into a crowd. Facebook conversation here.

3. Troopers were recorded using a baton on a senior citizen who was already knocked to the ground. Another officer had to step in to restrain the trooper from making further contact with baton. What would have happened if the second trooper had not restrained him?

4. It was reported that troopers were searching cars. Here’s the FB thread:

Which feels a lot like “no comment.”

These actions should be investigated using the normal investigation procedures and the public should be informed of the outcome.

Additionally it was reported that MSP troopers were carrying assault rifles in the Capitol Building. I do not know if this true; the tear gas launchers look like assault rifles to people who are not familiar with weapons of this nature. Here’s the MSP state on Facebook:

Michigan State Police Hi Christine — Troopers carry various weapons depending on the assignment.

I suspect they can’t just come out and talk about what they are carrying when they’re in a situation like this. However this situation should be scrutinized; the people have a right to know what weapons are carried into the Capitol Building, especially when there is a risk that the troopers will enter the House floor over the objections of the duly elected minority party.

While most troopers were professional and on model behavior yesterday, we need to know that troopers in a crowd can control themselves. We can have that confidence if the above items are investigated and the officers are not found guilty of any wrongdoing.

Again I thank the Michigan State Police for their ongoing communication with the public, and I am grateful that no one was hurt yesterday while they worked to protect the public.

Update: MSP issued a press release here – http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123–291257–,00.html

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  1. Hector Solon says:

    ALSO last week Thursday Dec 7 there was the incident of the use of pepper spray on demonstrators (largely a well-led and trained group from SEIU) in front of the Michigan State Senate chamber foyer/entrance in which one individual was slightly over come and was washed with water – 6 were in the area of the spray and a total of 8 were “apprehended” but later released with no charges. There were at least 4 iPhones immediately adjacent to that incident (other video was taken from the stairwell and posted to YouTube) in which demonstrators were pushed to the floor, then were sitting against a wall. There was an intense discussion immediately following that incident between a SEIU field director (an UAW field operator was also present) in the basement of the Capitol with the MSP site commander who promised to look into that police action. This discussion was also about the fact that union leaders (UAW Bob Kink, ALF-CIO Karla Swift and a leadership member of SEIU Michigan) were blocked from entering the Capitol building during the debate and vote on HB 4054 (first RTW bill voted on by the State House) which was delayed for 20-25 minutes due to a walk out of Michigan House Democrats from the floor until a court order to reopen the East doors was executed. A couple House Dems tweeted they were also temporarily “locked out” too while talk with demonstrators/constituents outside during their walkout from the floor.

    Bottomline: If the SEIU or others wanted to, there could easily be calls for investigations and potential legal action against the MSP regarding that incident. Yesterday in the early AM, at least one representative from the MSP Command Association was interviewed (by FOX 17 Grand Rapids) but don’t see that footage used or posted. Perhaps the SEIU understands that the MSP are just as hit by all this RTW mess and more so the GOP proposed Personal Property Tax (PPT) cut hitting state and local law enforcement units statewide, but that is just speculation. A lot happened last Thursday that was not properly covered in the Michigan Media, but that is why we have BFM, right? ; – )

  2. I was at the 12-11 rally and demonstration. I was totally appalled at the State Police. I felt like I was in a Sci Fi movie..theyc ame marching in full riot gear. Yes I too saw the guy giving commands on third floor of capitol. They should have been investigating the actions of the group from AFP. They were definately taunting the union members and took delight in doing so. My brother was one who calmly tried to talk to them, and they laughed at him and gave inciting discussion. By the way, why can Mr. Devos rent out the steps and lawn until Christmas? why arent the state police investigating their actions. I have pics of the booze that was in the AFP tent, that is against the law and in the rules book. Why did they not get maced or pepper sprayed for their actions? I am a retired teacher, who spent 7 hours there that day, and spoke to many people from many unions. They were passionate, and it came directly from their hearts to be there…..contrary to the AFP people who get gas cards and food all day, and come from many states to do this to further the ALEC groupl. The entire day I just kept thinking the state police were protecting the elite few, who was protecting us….altho we are the tax payers who pay for their services. It was a sad day in Michigan history and will be written about in history books. …it will not be forgotten.


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