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A Detroit suburb city commissioner has been asked to resign for allegedly failing to keep six feet apart during a massive protest last week against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s controversial social distancing measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dubbed “Operation Gridlock” and organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition, the protest Wednesday created bumper-to-bumper traffic throughout downtown Lansing as demonstrators blasted their horns, waved Americans flags and hoisted placards demanding Whitmer reopen the state’s economy.

Though most people remained in their cars, trucks and SUVs, some protesters got out of their vehicles to march by the state Capitol building.

In photographs, as well as footage broadcast by Fox 2 Detroit, Royal Oak City Commissioner Kim Gibbs can be seen wearing a distinct red coat while walking alongside a group of demonstrators holding signs calling for an end to lockdown measures.

Gibbs, a Republican, repeatedly ducks out of the camera frame. One Twitter user shared photos and tagged Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.


After the broadcast aired, Royal Oaks Mayor Michael Fournier said he personally asked Gibbs to resign following an "outpouring of concern regarding the irresponsible actions,” Detroit Metro Times reported.

“Let me be clear: The actions of one commissioner DO NOT represent the views of the majority of the commission or the views of our community as a whole,” Fournier also wrote in a Facebook post. 

“A vast majority of Royal Oakers have stepped up and are doing their part to abolish this deadly pandemic. The loving and empathetic spirit of our community has been on full display over the past number of weeks and the actions of a single person will not erode our commitment to one another or temper our spirit to fight for the lives of people everywhere.”

“Reckless and irresponsible behavior during the biggest public health crisis in a century shall not be overlooked or go unchecked,” he continued. “We see the seriousness of the situation and how following the executive orders will preserve life and get us closer to recovery.”

Royal Oaks City Commissioner Kim Gibbs (left) is seen walking alongside protesters in Lansing in footage captured during a Fox 2 Detroit live report.

Speaking to the Royal Oaks Daily Tribune, Gibbs said she only came to observe the rally but supported reopening the economy, adding: "In my eyes, the scare on the coronavirus is over."

She said she has tested negative for coronavirus and believed it would be unlikely for her to contract the infection while outdoors.

“On April 15, 2020, I attended the gathering at the Capitol building to support the unheard voices of small business owners and those who work for them,” Gibbs said in her own Facebook post. “Many of them are facing permanently losing their business or their jobs due to Governor Whitmer’s near total shutdown of the State. The rules of her lockdown have become arbitrary and capricious.

“We must still be careful and make plans that protect the safety of everyone in Michigan, but I believe there is a way to slowly reopening parts of our economy safely and with surgical precision without resorting to punitive executive orders that takes a sledgehammer to the entire economy of the state of Michigan.”


Michigan has recorded at least 30,196 confirmed cases, with at least 2,291 deaths by Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

After President Trump tweeted calls to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!", Whitmer appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday defending her decision to implement stringent lockdown measures compared with other areas in the country.

“Michigan has the third-largest death count in the country. It is the 10th largest state. What you can deduce is that we have a uniquely hard issue going on here disproportionately affecting our state," Whitmer said. “That’s why we need to take uniquely aggressive action to protect people.”

Last week, Whitmer had expanded Michigan’s stay-at-home order, which, among other things, prohibits residents from visiting family or friends with exceptions for providing care, bans public and private gatherings regardless of size or family ties, and places restrictions on what types of businesses may operate and in what capacity.

Fox News' Andrew O'Reilly contributed to this report.