Kalamazoo & Battle Creek On Alert
Government buildings and businesses throughout Kalamazoo and Battle Creek closed early Monday after threats of violence and out of an abundance of caution following days of peaceful protests in both communities.
The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office said Monday it had received a tip that a group from outside the Kalamazoo area could be headed to the city, according to WWMT. The Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Office then began recommending that Kalamazoo County close its buildings and offices early and send all workers home. This also lead to numerous businesses throughout Kalamazoo, Portage, and Parchment to close.
The City of Portage had winter salt trucks and plows blocking the entrance to Crossroads Mall and a heavy police presence while a police helicopter flew back and forth from the neighboring cities.
The city of Battle Creek issued an alert asking residents to avoid the downtown area and recommended business in the downtown area close. Calhoun County Courthouse employees were also sent home early. Precautions that were made out of an abundance of caution. A planned protest did take place once again in Battle Creek but remained peaceful and small.
Rumors also spread throughout Kalamazoo that the groups were from out of town and intent on inciting violence. Up until this point, protests have also been peaceful there.
The stepped security measures and police presence comes on the heels of peaceful protests turning destructive in Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids remained under a curfew that was inforced by area law enforcement and Michigan National Guard Monday evening.