Kalamazoo's City Commissioner, Shannon Sykes Nehring, was arrested along with around a dozen protesters at the city's Bronson Park early this morning. The group had been occupying the park since August 19th as a protest against proposed changes to a city ordinance which would ban sleeping overnight in the park.
According to local media, police moved in on protesters a little before 7 a.m., and approximately an hour later had arrested those who refused to comply with the city's order to vacate the park. The Commissioner handcuffed herself to one of the arrestees, causing police to arrest her for "resisting and obstructing police."
Prior to her arrest, Sykes Nehring noted her appreciation for those who recently joined the encampment earlier this week, as well as her disappointment in the city's failure to protect those who need it the most:
"It's been incredibly disappointing to see our city commission and city staff not listening to their residents and only focusing on the business owners and the downtown area, and the folks that work in the downtown area," she said. "We ought to be ashamed."
Protesters had put forth their demands when they originally began their occupation of the parks. Their goals have been stated as retaining resources needed to maintain physical and mental health of local unhoused people, as well as expanding the availability of emergency sheltering for those in need.