More charges filed after violent protests on MSU’s campus

Local News

17 of the 25 people who were arrested on Monday outside an event hosted by white nationalist Richard Spencer, now face criminal charges.

An Ingham county courtroom was busy with more arraignments Wednesday as we learn more about what kind of crimes police say were committed.

Of the 17 people charged Wednesday, only three of them are from mid-Michigan. The rest are from other states across the country including Washington D.C., Arizona and Maryland.

According to the Ingham County Prosecutors office, they range in ages from 21 to 37 and are charged with various crimes including assault and battery, failure to obey a police officer, resisting and obstructing police, MSU weapons violations and disorderly conduct.

Three people were arraigned on felony charges Tuesday for crimes including resisting or obstructing an officer as well as weapons charges.

These people were among the more than 500 who clashed in front of the MSU pavilion ahead of Spencer’s speech on Monday.

Protesters go together to show their support for or against Spencer.

Things became tense when people with difference opinions began to exchange words and that’s when the voices turned to violence. Punches were thrown, fights broke out and people were arrested.

The Ingham County Prosecutors Office said charges were denied for one person and four others were released after further investigation.

Despite the violence, there were no deaths or serious injuries.

“We were all professional, we did our job, we had zero tolerance and when people violated the law, we reacted,” MSU Police Capt. Doug Monette said. “We worked together and I think that was very clear with some of the situations that we faced and how we responded and I think there was good communication and I think overall things went very well. I’m very proud of our organization.”

The large police presence, made up of law enforcement agencies from across mid-Michigan, were there in riot-gear to make sure everyone stayed safe.

And even though a handful of officers got injured in the process, Capt. Monette said it’s something they planned to deal with.

“You prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Capt. Monette said. “We had the opportunity to organize this through mutual aid and ya know, we did our research and we had been training together, these agencies and small squad tactics for many years now and that’s why I think everything was as successful as it was.”

Capt. Monette said even though officers were ready, situations like these help police prepare even better for the future.

“That’s always important to look at things and say ‘hey what can we do better and how can we improve things,’” he said. “I think we did a great job. Our top priority was safety and security for this campus and that’s what we did.”

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