The City of Lansing is aware that a series of demonstration events are planned for Thursday, April 30, in downtown Lansing. Multiple groups have indicated they will hold protests on the Capitol Lawn beginning around 9:00 a.m. The Lansing Police Department (LPD), Lansing Fire Department (LFD) and Lansing Public Service Department are collaborating to ensure public safety and traffic flow are kept throughout the City.
"I am disappointed that people continue to come to Lansing and gather at the Capitol and put themselves, as well as Lansing residents, at risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. We all need to be practicing social distancing by staying home or only working essential jobs in our own communities to ensure that we beat this virus,” said Mayor Schor. “The Governor’s Executive Order recognizes that people are still allowed to exercise their First Amendment right to freedom of speech, and the City of Lansing understands the resources that are necessary to ensure a safe environment throughout the City during these protests. LPD, LFD and our Public Service Department have plans for large group protests, should they be needed.”
While the Capitol Lawn is under the jurisdiction of the Michigan State Police, the Lansing Police Department will assist if requested. LPD is responsible for the area surrounding the Capitol block and will have a number of officers on foot, on bicycles and in cars in the area during these demonstrations. Other agencies throughout the region have been asked to provide mutual aid, and many are expected to assist.
“LPD leadership is partnering with a number of Ingham County law enforcement agencies and the Lansing Fire Department to gather appropriate resources to ensure a safe environment, which is paramount. LPD will perform outreach to local businesses, residents and visitors of what to expect in the downtown areas to be impacted via our social media and community alert platforms,” said LPD Chief Daryl Green.
The LPD expects those participating in upcoming demonstrations to follow social distancing guidelines and not to impede traffic flow. If demonstrators violate the law and create unsafe conditions for residents, workers, other demonstrators, or law enforcement, officers will take appropriate enforcement actions proportionate to the situation. According to the Attorney General’s Office, a warning must be issued prior to writing a ticket and that is the protocol that LPD will continue to follow.
“The Lansing Fire Department, in conjunction with Lansing Police, Lansing Public Service and Michigan State Police, will be monitoring any and all conditions around the planned demonstrations on Thursday, April 30, 2020. We have planned for contingencies from weather to traffic issues and everything in between. Our number one priority is the safety of our citizens and visitors to Lansing,” said LFD Chief Mike Mackey.
The Public Service Department has put together a temporary traffic engineering plan to mitigate traffic and other protest disruption in and around neighborhoods. The temporary plan will be implemented if necessary.