LANSING — The Michigan legislature cancelled their Thursday session rather than risk protests and death threats over Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders.
Bloomberg reported that the legislature cancelled the session quietly on Wednesday. The GOP controlled chamber adjourned until Tuesday and the building was closed because of coronavirus.
The news service said that Thursday’s protest was organized by the right-wing group Michigan United for Liberty, which is protesting the state’s extended stay-at-home order. Whitmer pushed the order to the end of May while giving automakers, their suppliers and other manufacturers the green light to go back to work. On its Facebook page, the group posted a memo asking that protesters remain peaceful.
It wasn’t. MLive.com reported that a fight broke out at the protest over a doll hanging from a noose.
J. Scott Park, an MLive photographer, witnessed the fight break out after a man carrying a garbage can filled with a sign, an ax and an American flag removed the flag from the can. Attached to the bottom of the flag was an unclothed doll with brown hair that was hanging from a noose.
Organizers of the protest called the display “hate speech” and when one protester tried to take the doll off the flag a skirmish broke out. The man who brought the flag fled away from the fight and to the lawn of the Capitol where Michigan State Police surrounded him.
The man was taken into the Capitol building following the altercation. Michigan State Police reported there were no injuries and no arrests were made. Calls to the MSP seeking more information have not been returned.
Detroit’s MetroTimes reported on Monday that there had been death threats against Whitmer on anti-shutdown Facebook groups. The posts have since been removed.