Black Michigan lawmaker escorted by armed activists to capitol after protests

Sarah Anthony is the first African American woman to represent her district in Lansing, the state's capital

Sarah Anthony, State headshot (

Sarah Anthony, a State Representative in Michigan was escorted to work by six armed constituents on Wednesday.

Anthony told The Guardian that the escort was meant to highlight what she perceives as a failure of capitol police to provide legislators with adequate security when dozens of armed protestors stormed the Michigan State Capitol.

READ MORE: Armed protestors storm Michigan Capitol over stay-at-home orders

“When traditional systems, whether it’s law enforcement or whatever, fail us,” she said, “We also have the ability to take care of ourselves.”

In describing last week’s protests where white demonstrators armed with rifles confronted police and lawmakers over Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay at home order, Anthony said that it was one of the most unnerving feelings of her life.

“If I don’t vote the way that these people want me to vote, are they going to rush in and start shooting us?” she said. “You could feel the floor rumbling. You could hear them yelling and screaming.”

Sarah Anthony

State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), accompanied by Representatives Kara Hope (D-Holt), Julie Brixie (D-East Lansing) and Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township), spoke to a resolution commemorating the 160th anniversary of the founding of the city of Lansing, on Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Image from

Anthony, who was the first Black woman elected to represent her district in Lansing, Michigan’s capital, in 2018, was escorted by six of her constituents. The four men and two women carried handguns and rifles. One of the participants, Michael Lynn Jr., expressed frustration in seeing his legislator intimidated in her workplace. “Being a Black and Brown female Democrat in the Capitol now is a dangerous job,” he told The Guardian, “This is an environment that Donald Trump has nurtured.”

READ MORE: Black Panthers trend as Twitter notes #WhitePrivilege in Michigan protests

Since the protest, Gov. Whitmer has publicly stated that she is seeking to ban guns from the state capital. The move was applauded by an opinion piece in the Detroit Free Press which claims that guns in the Capitol make a mockery of Second Amendment rights.

To her credit, Anthony states that she doesn’t want to see more armed citizens at the Capitol. Instead, she hopes that law enforcement officers will do a better job of keeping legislators safe at work.