LANSING, Mich. — Ahead of Thursday's protest in Lansing against Governor Whitmer's executive order, Michigan State Police are warning demonstrators to do so safely and lawfully.
More than 500 people have already RSVP'd online to the event called 'Judgement Day,' organized by Michigan United for Liberty.
Michigan State Police anticipate to have more troopers on the ground in comparison to previous protests.
"They can expect to see more troopers on foot and more troopers on bicycle," said Lt. David Cope with MSP. "There will even be some of our specialty equipment there such as our mobile command center. Our message to attendees is simply that protesting must be done in a manner that is safe and lawful."
MSP asks demonstrators to also adhere to social distancing guidelines while wearing masks.
If a demonstrator does not express their constitutional right in a lawful way, MSP could potentially arrest any individual who refuses to comply with the guidelines they are setting out or orders given on the day.
"Let me be clear. It's our desire to interfere as little as possible with someone's right to demonstrate. However, we will not allow someone's right to free speech threaten or intimidate anyone els," said Lt. Cope. "So we will be partnering with the Attorney General's office. Laws including ethnic intimidation, brandishing a firearm, resisting and obstructing, and others will be strictly enforced. Those have no place amongst the peaceful protests or peaceful demonstration."
Michigan United with Liberty says they encourage everyone to demonstrate peacefully within the confines of the law and do not expect there to be any incidents involving police as part of Thursday's event.
"I think it's going to be just a perfectly reasonable, respectful event. If someone actually does something inappropriate, then certainly the police would be within their rights to charge somebody, if they actually are brandishing a firearm but I don't see that as very likely," said protest organizer Adam De Angeli, from the Ann Arbor area.
The mission as part of the protest is to urge Governor Whitmer to lessen restrictions as part of the stay-at-home order. Members also believe Whitmer is overstretching her powers by 'unilaterally' deciding the future for Michiganders.
"Right now the most important thing is getting back to where at least our elected representatives are the ones that decide what's appropriate where they're more accountable."
Governor Whitmer said earlier Wednesday that it's a possibility protests will lengthen the stay-at-home order.