Eight Capitol protesters charged with felonies

6:19 PM, Dec 10, 2012   |    comments
People are led out of the State Capitol Building in handcuffs after protesting against right-to-work legislation inside the Capitol in downtown Lansing, December 6,2012 (Lansing State Journal/Rod Sanford)
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LANSING, Mich. (The State Journal) - Eight people arrested Thursday during protests at the state Capitol, who officials said tried to push through state police troopers to enter the Senate chamber, have been charged with felonies.

Each of the six men and two women - all from southeastern Michigan - face a charge of resisting, obstructing and/or opposing a police officer. They face up to two years in prison.

Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III said he issued the charges today.

In a statement, Dunnings said: "It was attested to me that (the protesters') tactics went beyond passive resistance, and involved physical aggression towards the police who were charged with protecting the public safety during this tumultuous debate."

All eight were arrested Thursday and then released from custody late Thursday night on $50 interim bonds set by 54A District Judge Hugh Clarke Jr.

At a hearing Friday, Clarke directed them to return to his courtroom Dec. 19.  They are expected to be arraigned then.
During the incident, police used a chemical agent to repel the protesters.

By Kevin Grasha, Lansing State Journal staff writer

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