April 12, 2021 | A group of five women claimed Monday that Detroit police ignored their bright green caps designating them as National Lawyers Guild Legal Observers and assaulted them during protests last year.

Peatmoss Ellis, left, of Highland Park, and Lauren Rosen of Oak Park hug as lawyer David A. Robinson speaks during a press conference Monday over a recently filed lawsuit involving legal observers who say they were were arrested and assaulted by Detroit police during last summer's protests over police brutality. Both Ellis and Rosen are plaintiffs in the Detroit Will Breathe lawsuit against the City of Detroit. 


A lawsuit alleging the abuse was filed this month and amended Monday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The five plaintiffs and their attorney David Robinson laid out the allegations during a press conference outside the federal courthouse.

“Without any lawful justification or excuse, my clients were viciously attacked by Detroit police officers for no other reason than them being legal observers,” Robinson said. The alleged incidents happened during protests in May and August against police brutality, the lawsuit said.

The 34-page complaint names as defendants the city of Detroit, Mayor Mike Duggan, Police Chief James Craig, Cmdr. Darin Szilagy, police officer Rodney Cushingberry and unknown officers.


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