At 11 a.m. Thursday, June 4, 2020, it’s all calm at the Historic Livingston County Courthouse. A small group of Black Lives Matter supporters, all of whom are young adults, stand in the shade in front of the courthouse, holding signs, while onlookers — all of whom are older than the sign holders, and some of whom have handguns with them — mill about the perimeter of the courthouse lawn.
But nothing else much is going on.
Social distancing is not being observed with either group, and it appears that a lot of the people aren’t wearing masks.
This day started out as a confusing set of circumstances, with law enforcement and City of Howell officials asking people to stay away from the downtown:
• A woman had been planning a rally to show support in the wake of the Floyd killing, but she delayed it.
• There was the weekend tweet by a woman calling for Howell to be the first city in Michigan to burn (you can read all about it by clicking here); that woman is currently under investigation by the state.
• There were rumors about outside agitators coming to town to cause trouble.
• Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy said law enforcement was “gearing up for the worst and hoping for the best.”
• 2A member and Congressional candidate Mike Detmer of Howell posted a video to Facebook, asking people to “stay clear of Howell and Brighton for the next 48 hours.” “We are not going to let Livingston County or any town in this county to turn into a chaotic mess. I want everybody to stay safe,” Detmer said in the video. “If we need to provide backup for law enforcement, I will let everybody know.” He asked viewers to keep their eyes open for suspicious activity. “If anybody sees anything weird, please get it out there and I will do the same.”
But as of 11 a.m. Thursday, June 3, 2020, all’s quiet on the courthouse grounds. There is no visible police force; there are some people wearing handguns in one area; there are some people carrying signs in another. A Detroit television news crew is on site. The weather is beautiful and there are no agitators and no chaos; just calm.