Unruly Detroiters shut down city council meeting with threats, songs of defiance

Morris MaysMorris Mays epitomizes cool – or at least he thinks so.

The 51-year-old Detroiter walked up to the microphone at a council meeting late this morning wearing a black leather jacket, black leather gloves, a black shirt, black sunglasses and gold chains.

Mays minced no words in voicing his disapproval of a state-appointed emergency manager and what he sees as the council’s support of an EM.

“You didn’t do a thing for Detroit!” Mays shouted. “I watch you attack us and attack us and attack us. And I urge the people of Detroit to attack you.”

The audience erupted in approval.

“I resent you, I hate you for what you did,” Mays yelled into the mic to more applause.

Council President Charles Pugh ordered police to remove Mays from the meeting after he refused to sit down and stop yelling.

About a half hour later, the audience broke out in protest songs in a show of defiance against EM Kevyn Orr. The council was about to vote on a contract for Orr’s law firm, Jones Day, to help restructure the budget.

Pugh called for a 5-minute recess but has not returned. During the recess, security wrestled a protester to the ground and forcibly removed.

Shortly after noon, about 20 minutes after the recess, about 12 cops stood outside the council chambers.

Steve Neavling, who lives on the city’s east side, is an investigative journalist, a freelance reporter for Reuters and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Neavling explores corruption, Detroit’s unsung heroes and the underbelly of an oft-misunderstood city.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.