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Republican lawmaker arrested in Lansing for felony-level offense

Republican lawmaker arrested in Lansing for felony-level offense

Rep. Neil Friske. (House GOP photo)

By Michigan Advance

June 21, 2024

BY ANNA LIZ NICHOLS, MICHIGAN ADVANCE

MICHIGAN—Michigan Rep. Neil Friske (R-Charlevoix) was arrested in the early morning hours Thursday in Lansing for a felony-level offense.

Lansing Police responded to a report of a male with a gun and possible shots that fired at around 2:45 a.m. Thursday, Lansing Police Department Public Information Director Jordan Gulkis said in a statement sent to the Advance.

“Our officers quickly responded and made contact with all the parties involved,” Gulkis said. “An accused [person] was arrested for a felony-level offense.”

Friske remains in jail as of Thursday afternoon, Gulkis confirmed.

An investigation of the northern Michigan lawmaker is underway and the department expects to present the case Friday to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office to review for charges.

Friske, 62, is one of the most conservative lawmakers in the Michigan Legislature and is a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus.

This session, the Freedom Caucus has attempted to censure Michigan’s first Black House speaker, Joe Tate (D-Detroit), claiming he “championed discrimination” for passing a state budget that provided grants for minority-owned businesses. Some of the other efforts from the group have included bolstering U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s power in Michigan.

During his first term in office, Friske has introduced efforts to repeal the voter-approved right to an abortion and require libraries that make “obscene or sexually explicit matter that is harmful to minors” to have an age-restricted where the materials can be viewed.

Recently, Friske and his fellow Freedom Caucus colleague, Rep. Steve Carra (R-Three Rivers), were the sole no votes against legislation to criminalize non-consensual deep fake pornography, which commonly is used to blackmail and shame women, but is also used to create nude images of minors.

Friske is facing a primary challenge from Parker Fairbairn of Harbor Springs in the Aug. 6 GOP primary. The winner will face Democrat Jodi Decker in November in the GOP-favored district.

In a post on one of Friske’s Facebook accounts Thursday, an official statement from his reelection campaign noted that the timing of the incident is “highly suspect” considering it’s before voters will get their absentee ballots for the upcoming primary for the November election for all the seats in the state House.

“This morning, it was brought to our attention that Representative Friske was arrested and being held. As many of us know, Rep Friske is always exercising his 2nd Amendment right. We do not have any details, besides what the media sourced, oddly before anyone of us knew anything,” the post says. “We ask everyone for prayers and to stay tuned for updates directly from this campaign or Representative Friske himself. Thank you for the outpouring of concern and unwavering support we have received this morning. Clearly, Rep. Friske is over the target in this race.”

This coverage was republished from Michigan Advance pursuant to a Creative Commons license. 

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CATEGORIES: GOP ACCOUNTABILITY
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