Groups face-off against each other outside TCF Center in Detroit over election count

Detroit — Dozens of protesters and counter-demonstrators faced off against each other Thursday night outside the TCF Center, where absentee ballots had been counted following Tuesday’s presidential election.

A few dozen demonstrators, protesting Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and election results that swung to him in Michigan, were gathered outside of the convention center. Opposite them, with police officers and vehicles holding the line between the groups, dozens of counter-demonstrators chanted in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. They held signs saying “You lost,” and one wore a sweatshirt declaring “Count every vote.”

One demonstrator, who declined to provide a name, said their group was there to protest fascism. Someone over a loud speaker made remarks about Biden’s mental fitness, a common refrain from the Trump camp and supporters during the campaign. Others chanted that blue lives mattered, referring to police officers.

At one point, officers swarmed in to break up an apparent skirmish between the two sides. The protests began to break up about 9:18 p.m. 

The gathering followed an earlier one Thursday afternoon, where Biden and Trump supporters traded barbs as police officers kept the peace.

Some protesters and pollwatchers who have gathered outside the center since Wednesday have, without evidence, made accusations of voting fraud and questioned how ballots were being tabulated.

Biden was declared the winner of Michigan’s 16 electoral votes on Wednesday.