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Protesters condemn Warren police arrest at Biden demonstration

Protesters gathered outside the Warren Police Department to express their opposition to the arrest of Maherr Salah Jaeran, a 22-year-old pro-Palestinian demonstrator apprehended during President Joe Biden’s visit to the city. The arrest, based on allegations that Jaeran walked in the presidential motorcade route against police orders and assaulted an officer, led to his arraignment on Friday.

While Warren police contended that demonstrators failed to follow directions, resulting in the arrest due to an alleged assault on an officer, organizers of the protest insisted that the demonstration remained peaceful. Roughly 200 protesters had convened on Thursday, advocating for a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas-led government in Gaza.

During the subsequent Friday protest outside the police department, around 200 demonstrators chanted slogans like “Let him out” and “Free ‘Big M,'” a reference to Jaeran. Protesters accused Warren police of donning riot gear and attempting to intimidate them during what they assert was a peaceful protest.

Jaeran, with no prior criminal record, faced charges of assaulting, resisting, and obstructing police—a two-year felony—following a review by the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office. Entering a not guilty plea, Jaeran had bond set at $5,000, with a GPS tether mandated upon posting. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 13.

Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer defended the arrest, stating it prioritized security, emphasizing the delicate balance required between the President’s safety and citizens’ rights. Despite the arrest, pro-Palestine protesters conveyed their determination to persist in organizing within their communities, condemning perceived injustices.

Although Biden spoke at a United Auto Workers hall in Warren on Thursday, his motorcade did not pass the protesters during campaign stops. Earlier, community leaders, including Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, had canceled a meeting with Biden’s campaign manager, citing criticisms of his handling of the Gaza conflict. Michigan’s Arab community, along with other groups, has voiced increasing dissatisfaction with Biden’s approach to the situation.

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