Only person prosecuted after Proud Boys rally in Kalamazoo tells story of arrest


KALAMAZOO, MI – Of 10 people arrested at the August 15 Proud Boys rally in Kalamazoo, only one has been prosecuted.

Travis Anderson, 31, says he reached out to try and stop an officer chasing another man, and claims he was injured after being tackled by an officer during his arrest. The arrest affidavit states that Anderson was arrested for hitting the officer he tried to arrest.

Kalamazoo County District Attorney Jeff Getting said examination of the body camera footage shows Anderson was interfering with the officer’s pursuit of the other man, but did not say whether Anderson launched a punch.

Kalamazoo Town and Public Security officials declined to comment on the incident and have yet to release the police report or body camera footage.

Anderson eventually pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of attempted assault against a police officer. He was initially charged with one count of resisting and obstructing a police officer.

Adrian’s man was sentenced on October 1, the same day he pleaded guilty, to two days in jail by Kalamazoo County District Judge Kathleen Hemingway. Anderson was credited with two days of serving time and ordered to pay $ 425 in fines and court costs.

Related: Charges dismissed against eight people involved in Proud Boys rally and counter-protests in Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo Town and Kalamazoo Public Security did not immediately provide copies of the police report or body camera footage of Anderson’s arrest, as requested by MLive / Kalamazoo Gazette on Monday, October 5. to obtain the documents and awaits a response to this request.

Both documents were previously released in connection with the lawsuit, Anderson defense attorney Matt Wait said. In response to media and public inquiries, Kalamazoo Town released portions of the August 15 police body camera footage last month, but that broadcast did not include footage of officers involved in the incident. arrest of Anderson.

Kalamazoo’s public safety chief Vernon Coakley Jr., then deputy chief, was at the scene at the time of the arrest. Coakley assisted in the arrest, according to photos taken by the Detroit News and Anderson’s account of the incident.

Coakley could not be reached this week for comment, and Deputy City Manager Jeff Chamberlain responded to requests for comment by saying “city officials have no further statement” on the arrest of Anderson.

MLive was able to view the Anderson District Court file, which included the probable cause affidavit and the bail recommendation. According to these documents, Anderson allegedly hit an officer while “trying to control others during a riot incident.”

“Constable Joe Hutson saw Constable Nick DeLeeuw attempt to arrest a person for inciting a riot,” the affidavit reads. “Meanwhile, Agent Hutson watched as Travis Anderson approached DeLeeuw and punched him. Anderson was arrested shortly thereafter.”

MLive was told that there was video evidence from body-worn cameras that showed Anderson physically interfering with the pursuit of another person by a KDPS officer, which led to the charges being cleared.

“Mr. Anderson’s actions in real time have led some observers to characterize his actions as hitting an officer, either in the face or in the chest, and looking at the body camera images and slowing them down he makes no doubt he interfered with another person’s pursuit officer, ”Getting said.

“As to whether he was actually trying to hit the officer, it is less certain based on the examination of the videos,” the prosecutor said.

Anderson, who admits reaching out in an attempt to stop the officer as he pursued another man on Michigan Avenue, denies hitting the officer.

Being told he didn’t think the agents intended to misrepresent Anderson’s actions.

“It’s just what they saw happen in real time compared to what we were able to document with the video,” he said.

Anderson said he was with a group of about 50 protesters near the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo when riot gear lined up and told the group they had 10 minutes to disperse. Adrian’s man said he was angry watching police try to stop a black man, who he said was only screaming.

Anderson said he saw an officer, later identified as DeLeeuw, start grabbing the man. The man managed to pull away and started running, he said, and DeLeeuw started chasing him.

“They started running straight at me,” Anderson said. “One of the riot cops was running after him, all over me. I had about 0.2 seconds to step aside, but it was a conscious decision on my part not to move.

Video footage taken by freelance journalist Kevin White, who runs through Kevin Live on Facebook, shows near the 50-minute mark Anderson rushing towards the officer, reaching out with his right arm and putting his hand on the officer’s chest as the officer runs beside him.

The video also shows Anderson’s cock behind his left arm, but doesn’t capture what happens immediately after.

Anderson said he reached out to stop DeLeeuw and the officer hit his arm with the chest and somehow “bounced back”. He said he was then accosted, almost immediately, by another officer and sprayed with pepper.

After being taken to the ground by the other officer and taken into custody by others, Anderson said he suffered multiple injuries, including a broken collarbone, bruised ribs and other bruises. He said he received x-rays when he arrived at Kalamazoo County Jail and was then taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital for treatment. Anderson said he was considering a civil lawsuit, but did not file such a complaint.

“On the one hand, I just want this to end,” Anderson said. “On the other hand, I don’t want them to get away with this.”

Adrian’s resident says he has no direct connection to the Kalamazoo community, but came to the town that day to protest the presence of the Proud Boys, who he says are “bad guys. side of the story “.

Anderson said he was furious when he learned he was the only person to be prosecuted after a day that involved numerous violent clashes between the two sides. But he’s glad it’s now behind him.

Eight other adults and a minor were arrested on the day of the rally and counter-protests, according to former Kalamazoo public security chief Karianne Thomas.

Thomas has since retired and Coakley took over as head of the department on October 1.

Following a review of the submitted charges related to the August 15 event, the other eight adults had their charges dismissed the day after the protests by City Prosecutor Clyde Robinson or Getting County District Attorney.

A minor arrested that day, Thomas told MLive at the time, has been returned to his parents’ care.

Of the 10 people arrested by police that day, five were initially charged with violating city ordinances, including obstructing or obstructing police by failing to clear a police area, Robinson said. in MLive at the time. The other five have all been charged with more serious felony charges, including malicious destruction of property, resistance and obstruction and criminal assault, Thomas said.

Only one of those cases – the case against Anderson – was prosecuted by Getting’s office. The prosecutor told MLive on Wednesday that Kalamazoo Public Safety had sent additional documents for review, which could lead to additional charges being filed.

None of the charges at this point were against Proud Boys’ participation in the protest, which drew widespread criticism from members of the community in the weeks that followed. This criticism has included calls for the resignation of Thomas and other city leaders, and demands for officials to clearly acknowledge the mistakes made by police in responding to this summer’s protests in Kalamazoo.

Also on MLive:

Accusation dropped against MLive journalist, chief apologizes for arrest at Kalamazoo protest

Police chief says Proud Boys accomplished their mission by wreaking havoc in downtown Kalamazoo

City’s review of police response to Kalamazoo Proud Boys rally reveals ‘areas for improvement’

Kalamazoo police release videos showing clashes at Proud Boys rally

Why Black Lives Matter for These Main Events in Kalamazoo

Assault on counter-protesters was ‘catalyst’ for violence at Proud Boys event in Kalamazoo, officer’s report says

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