The Detroit Police Department said Thursday that officers who responded to a protest Saturday night outside Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s home did not see any protesters carrying weapons, contradicting Benson’s claims that dozens of armed demonstrators congregated outside her residence.
”I know there were people who did congregate outside the residence to protest, and we did not see any weapons,” Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood, a spokeswoman for the Detroit Police Department, told National Review.
Asked whether Michigan State Police, who also responded to the protest, had observed weapons at the scene, MSP Lt. Michael Shaw said that state troopers arrived at the residence after the Detroit Police Department.
“By the time we had arrived the protesters had dispersed from in front of the home,” Shaw told National Review.
Shaw previously told CNN there were “no arrests or violations of criminal law” during the protest, which he said consisted of about 25 to 30 people.
“There were reports that some of the protesters were armed,” he added. “The protesters dispersed on their own.”
On Saturday night as Benson and her four-year-old son were inside their home finishing up decorating their house for Christmas, “dozens of armed individuals stood outside my home shouting obscenities and chanting into bullhorns in the dark of night,” Benson said in a statement.
Some of the demonstrators sported American flags and Trump paraphernalia as they protested Michigan’s vote tallying. President-elect Joe Biden won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes.
Benson, whose office oversees Michigan elections, added that the actions of the protesters are an “extension of the noise and clouded efforts to spread false information about the security and accuracy of our elections.” The demands they made were “unambiguous, loud and threatening,” she said.
“The individuals gathered outside my home targeted me as Michigan’s Chief Election officer. But their threats were actually aimed at the 5.5 million Michigan citizens who voted in this fall’s election, seeking to overturn their will. They will not succeed in doing so,” Benson said.
Meanwhile, other elections officials in swing states that Biden won have been targeted with threats since the election. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other Georgia election officials received death threats after Raffensperger certified Georgia’s election results.
Since last month’s election, the Trump campaign has made claims of widespread fraud in several battleground states including Michigan without producing evidence and has insisted that Trump won several states called for Biden that would vault the president into a second term.