Chaos in Taylor as thousands gather for housing help - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Chaos in Taylor as thousands gather for housing help

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TAYLOR, Mich. (WJBK) -

A wild scene Saturday at an event meant to help families get affordable housing. At least four people were arrested when things got hostile between a crowd of thousands and Taylor police.

Click on the video player to watch Robin Schwartz's report.

Cell phone video shows a man being thrown to the ground during one of the arrests, as an estimated 4,000 people crowded the parking lot of the Taylor Human Services Center on Eureka Rd. People were lining up for Section 8 housing vouchers. Some waited all night. When it came time for the vouchers to be handed out, things got out of control!

"They started shifting us off the sidewalk," said one witness.

"It was a mess! This is ridiculous," added Fatimah McGee. "People have been standing here since 6, 7 o'clock [last night] and they still can't get an application."

Fox 2 video shows police moving the massive crowd away from the building. We're told earlier, people made a mad rush for the door and were pushing and shoving to get in. At some point, organizers shut things down and turned off the lights; that's when things got even worse.

"The lights go out and people just started going crazy and it's messed up they gonna cancel it," said one woman.

"Kids [were] out here, old people, pregnant women - it was unfair," added another.

We saw one police officer pick up a baby and move it away from the crowd. When the mother complained, she got arrested. Some blame the crowd, some blame organizers saying they were unprepared for the large turnout, others blame police. Caught in the middle are thousands of people in dire situations who genuinely need assistance.

"It hurts me that we have to be in a situation like this," said one woman who declined to give her name. "A lot of people came from a long way to come here to try to get help and they turned their back on us."

Thankfully, no one was hurt. The Taylor Housing Commission tells us details are still being worked out, but the event will be rescheduled.

"Due to the high demand of the Section 8 vouchers, we will meet with HUD representatives to discuss the series of events, re-evaluate the distribution method and implement a process that ensures a greater level of efficiency and safety," said the housing commission director in a press release. "The Taylor Housing Commission regrets that the event had to be canceled."."

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