Members of the far-right Boogaloo Bois militia armed with semi-automatic weapons clashed with angry locals during a protest Sunday outside of the Ann Arbor City Hall building in Michigan.
About six Boogaloo Bois dressed in tactical gear, some wearing the group’s signature Hawaiian-style shirts, had marched on the city police station to call for the release of a local man, Omar Shafie.
Shafie, 32, was arrested after a 36-hour stand-off with a SWAT team from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, during which he allegedly shot off several rounds.
A rally to Free Omar Shafie was organized outside the Ann Arbor City Hall and police station, and promoted on social media.
According to the News2Share site, police observed the armed group from a distance but did not intervene.
An unnamed local man then approached the group, demanding to know why they were in town.
He became involved in an angry exchange, demanding to know why they’d brought their guns to the city.
‘Get your f***ing guns out of here, man,’ he said.
A man confronts members of the far-right Boogaloo Bois militia after they turned up to the Ann Arbor Police Department and City Hall to protest the arrest of a local man Omar Shafie
The unarmed man yells ‘get your f***ing guns out of here’ to militia members
A Boogaloo Bois member named Timothy Teagan shouts at the local resident
Police kept a watchful eye on the armed protestors, as they called for the release of local man Omar Shafie, who was arrested after a 36-hour stand-off with law enforcement
Omar Shafie was arrested on March 25 after a 36-hour stand-off with law enforcement in which he barricaded himself into his parents home and allegedly fired rounds at a SWAT team
‘This is a peaceful community. We don’t need this. We’ve been through a pandemic. We’ve lost thousands of lives,’ he continued.
‘You are not the police. You are a militia. They are in charge, not you. Get the f*** out of our town!’
The incident that sparked the protest began in the early hours of March 24 when Shafie’s parents called police to say their son was suffering from a mental health crisis and had assaulted them at their home in Superior Township, Michigan.
Around 50 members of the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office including a SWAT team, crisis negotiators and sheriff’s deputies responded to the rural address.
Sheriff’s deputies brought the parents to safety, but Shafie refused to leave the house.
He was armed with multiple weapons, was wearing a flak jacket and had rounds of ammunition strapped to his body, according to a local news report.
Several shots were fired by Shafie during the encounter, which lasted well into the following day.
Since his arrest, Shafie’s girlfriend has disputed that he was suffering from a mental health crisis, and that police had infringed on his Second Amendment rights.
Cylie Johnston posted what she said was a recording of a conversation with Shafie from Washtenaw County Jail.
Shafie claimed his Second Amendment rights have been infringed by police, that he wasn’t having a mental health crisis and he had been unfairly targeted.
The case came to the attention of the Boogaloo Bois, who wanted to put on a show of force to support Shafie’s cause.
A Boogaloo Bois member takes part in the armed protest in Ann Arbor on Sunday over the arrest of Omar Shafie
Protestors compared the arrest of Shafie to other incidents where civilians have been shot by police, such as Breanna Taylor
The Boogaloo Bois have been described as Libertarian extremists who have been linked to two murders
The small group of armed men who showed up on Sunday included a prominent member of the Boogaloo Bois identified as Timothy Teagan.
Video footage of the protest captured him yelling at the local government building.
‘We’re gonna be out here for a little bit! If you’d like to come and talk it over, we’re right out here. Talk to us maybe the way you should have talked to Omar,’ he said.
‘How much money did it take from the city to have fifty cops out there in a 36-hour standoff?’
The Boogaloo Bois have been described as Libertarian extremists who believe a race war is imminent.
They have been linked to two ambush-style attacks against security personnel and law enforcement officers in California in 2020.
Individuals associated with the movement have also been charged with the attempted kidnapping of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.