Michigan Dept. Civil Rights interim director issues statement on Thursday’s Capitol protest


A protester carries an American flag at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, April 30, 2020. Hoisting American flags and handmade signs, protesters returned to the state Capitol to denounce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order and business restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic while lawmakers met to consider extending her emergency declaration hours before it expires. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Mary Engelman, Interim Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, issued the following statement on Thursday’s planned protest against Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order.

“The right to protest is a vital part of our democracy and must be supported and protected,” said Engelman. “That right, however, does not include the right to make threats of violence against any individual, including the Governor or anyone else with whom we disagree. We must not allow the exercise of the fundamental rights embedded in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to be used as a platform for intimidation, force or the violation of civil rights.”

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the operational arm of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, is charged with investigating and resolving discrimination complaints and working to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws. The Department also provides information and services to businesses on diversity initiatives and equal employment law. For more information on the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, go to www.michigan.gov/mdcr.

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