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Detroit mayor praises teen for helping peacefully end protests ahead of curfew

Detroit mayor praises teen for helping peacefully end protests ahead of curfew
Posted at 10:53 AM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 11:53:36-04

DETROIT, Mich. -- As the fourth day of protests ended peacefully in Detroit, the city's mayor made it a point to thank a teen for doing his part.

With protests in the area, 16-year-old Stefan Perez from southwest Detroit helped end things peacefully in the city.

Perez, a protest organizer, received kudos from Mayor Mike Duggan for convincing people not to violate curfew toward the end of what turned out to be a peaceful protest.

"People wanted to agitate. They're mad at me. But they're home safe," said Stefan Perez, a protest organizer. "They don't got rubber bullets, they don't got tear gas, they're not dead."

The thanks from Mayor Duggan came by phone call.

"Stefan, I was watching the video, and I saw your leadership, I have tears in my eyes," the mayor said. "You are everything that is special about the city of Detroit."

Organizers kept spreading the message to keep the peace and follow the city's curfew as the group marched with a police escort towards Detroit police headquarters peacefully.

Nearly 700 people walking in solidarity against police brutality, calling for change after the killing of George Floyd.

"We just have a great sense of community. I love that we're working together," said protester Jewel Michael. "That we have such a diversity. That metro Detroit is so diverse. This is something we've been fighting for for a long time."

There were peaceful protests also over in Troy, where at one moment officers took a knee with demonstrators. Many young people walking from Somerset Mall and down Big Beaver road for two miles, also escorted with a police escort.

Police say a 68-year-old man was arrested in Troy for intentionally hitting a protester.

In Detroit, curfew starts at 8 p.m.

This story was originally published by staff at WXYZ.