Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article said that the demonstrators who gathered outside Benson’s home were armed based on Benson’s statement and reports by multiple media outlets. However, the Detroit police department released a statement on Thursday in which they said no weapons were spotted at the sight of the protest.
Demonstrators gathered outside the home of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Sunday night to protest the general election results.
Roughly two dozen demonstrators with American flags, and Donald Trump paraphernalia joined the gathering, the Detroit Free Press reported, part of which was livestreamed on Facebook. The president and allies have repeatedly claimed that Democrats “stole” the election through widespread voter fraud, although pro-Trump lawyers have been unable to back up their claims in court.
“We are letting [Benson] know that we’re not taking this bullshit election, we are not standing down, we are not giving up you are not going to take this election from a man that has earned it completely 100 percent by a freaking landslide,” said Genevieve Peters, who posted the live video of the demonstration.
“As my four year old son and I were finishing up decorating the house for Christmas on Saturday night…dozens of armed individuals stood outside my home shouting obscenities and chanting into bullhorns in the dark of night,” Benson said in a statement. “There is a line crossed when gatherings are done with the primary purpose of intimidation of public officials who are carrying out the oath of office they solemnly took as elected officials.”
The demonstration against Benson came at the same time that Georgia elections officials, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, have faced death threats after confirming Joe Biden’s win in the state. In October, the FBI charged six individuals in a plot to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Protests at the homes of government officials occurred over the summer following the George Floyd demonstrations, including at the homes of Portland mayor Ted Wheeler and former Seattle police chief Carmen Best. Before the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, demonstrators picketed outside the homes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.).