A doll in a noose hanging from an American flag led to a skirmish during a protest at the Michigan Capitol over the state’s coronavirus emergency orders, a video shows.
Michigan State Policesay they responded to reports of a protester trying to yank a sign away from another demonstrator.
One of the people involved in the fight had an ax, which was taken by law enforcement, but no injuries or arrests were reported, police said on Twitter.
Video from MLive.com shows a woman grab the flag with the doll from a man, struggling to pull it from his hands. Other protesters attempt to break up the fight while a person on a loudspeaker calls for police. It appears the flag was attached to a fishing pole.
“This is what the media wanted, and we are giving them what they wanted,” a person on the loudspeaker says.
“Where are the cops!” the person says over the speaker as yelling and fighting continue.
Eventually, Michigan State Police arrive and the altercation ends.
Another video from a reporter shows the fight from a closer view. Warning: It contains graphic language.
Katie Rogowicz, a protester at the rally, said demonstrators worried thenoose would depict the group as violent, The Detroit News reported. But she also criticized the protester accused of pushing the man carrying the flag, the news outlet reported.
Police said the victim was a 60-year-old man.
“That wasn’t right,” Rogowicz told The Detroit News. “He has the right to do it.”
The protesters oppose Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders that have closed businesses across the state in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.