DETROIT (WXYZ) — Six men from Michigan were among those arrested in Washington D.C., after protests turned violent at the U.S. Capitol last night.
A 25-year-old man was arrested for carrying a pistol without a license, possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, and possession of unregistered ammunition.
Washington D.C. police also arrested a 64-year-old man from Michigan for unlawful entry and curfew violation.
The rest of the arrests were for violating the 6 p.m. curfew.
“We were only about 150 feet from the hotel, and said ‘oh sorry, we’ll go back.’ It was too late, unfortunately we were made examples of thinking we were some of the rowdy crowd,” said Matthew Staley from Commerce Township.
Staley and Shawn Floyd, both 44, from Redford say they got arrested around 8:45 Wednesday night after they left their hotel to try to get something to eat. They told the WXYZ that they traveled to the Capitol to peacefully protest, not to incite violence.
“I have daughters, I have kids and this country is not upholding the law, the constitution, and it’s being trampled on,” said Staley. “So we came out yesterday to stand up for our rights here in this country that aren’t being upheld.”
“We’re here for the rights of all Americans. There’s no racial prejudice here. It’s all people that love and fear God, and we’re here for human rights for the whole world. Not just America, to show the whole world the corruption is real,” said Floyd. “This isn’t about Trump or any political leader. It’s about people coming together.”
Staley and Floyd say they were held overnight in a lock-up facility, and early this morning paid a $25 ticket so they could return to Michigan.
They say they did not join in the breach of the Capitol Building and don’t agree with the violence that occurred.
“I do believe that patriots are upset and I think they want to be heard. I think they think it’s an unfair election, and I think going to the Capitol Building and showing presence was what the intention was. I think event provocateurs or instigators or agitators were the ones that decided to break things, enter buildings that they shouldn’t have been entering and I’m disgusted by it, as I think are most Americans,” said Staley.
Both men said they overheard people in their jail lock-up saying they were paid to instigate some of the violence. At this point, that is difficult to verify, but the WXYZ has learned the Department of Justice is currently looking closely at everyone involved and what groups they might be affiliated with.
“I spent the day with a bunch of great people yesterday,” said Staley. "And I spent the night in jail with the people who made last night terrible, caused all this last night. Two totally different groups of people."
Michael Sherwin, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said federal charges against additional defendants are expected this evening.