An investigation has been launched after a video circulating online showed police appearing to launch a tear gas canister at a protester in Grand Rapids.
In the video a man is seen walking towards a line of police before turning around. He looks back briefly as one officer walks towards him and appears to be struck by some sort of blast.
Grand Rapids Police Department told Fox17 they were conducting an internal investigation into the incident.
Ven Johnson, a police brutality lawyer described the act as "despicable".
"He’s walking toward the officer, in a relatively non threatening manner…clearly has nothing in his hands except maybe a cigarette,” Mr Johnson told Fox 17.
“It looks like he got shot with a projectile.
"Whether it hit him or not I don’t know…that was shot at his person. That is horrible, tragic.
"We want to know why things are escalating? This is a perfect example where the police could have stayed back, stayed in line, said nothing, which they’re trained to do. They’re trained to de-escalate. Not escalate."