ALBION, Mich. -- A group of men and women from Albion marched in protest against Mayor Garrett Brown with a simple message and a demand.
"We're not going to tolerate stalking. We're not going to tolerate stalking on the part of anybody, especially the mayor of the city," organizer Dianne Guenin-Lelle said.
The group is demanding a public apology from Brown who is accused of stalking Albion resident and former friend Felisha Coats. She filed a personal protection order against the mayor in September. The judge granted the PPO, but Coats said the mayor hired an attorney to get it dropped.
Guenin-Lelle said the march was about protecting the rights of women in Albion.
"Felisha needs to be supported. She needs to know that she's not alone and that's why we're here," Guenin-Lelle said.
She didn't want to speak on camera, but Coats told FOX17 the stalking went on for months. She said Brown constantly drove past her home, lurked around her house, and peeped through her windows. According to the police report, she believed Brown would park nearby and walk to her house.
An officer reported spotting Brown's vacant car down the road from Coats' home and claims to have seen him walking from the woods to his car. Another incident involved a neighbor allegedly spotting the mayor on Coats' property.
Before calling police on Brown, Coats said she told him to stop. However, she said the mayor's alleged actions continued. On Sunday, news of Mayor Brown's alleged move to drop the PPO enlivened protestors.
Guenin-Lelle said, "We see this as another example of intimidation tactics and blaming the victim, shaming the victim... relative to Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O'Reilly. It doesn't matter the race. It doesn't matter the politics. It's the same story, and to see that play out in our town was just something that I could not ignore."
While the group is calling for a public apology from the mayor, Brown released a statement through a public relations firm stating:
"The allegations put forward are completely unfounded, and I plan to vigorously defend my character and the trust that so many have placed in me. I have retained counsel, and look forward to demonstrating that these accusations are false. On the advice of counsel, pending the outcome of this situation I will have no further comment."
Meanwhile, there is also a petition to recall the mayor. That has nothing to do with the stalking allegations. A hearing on the recall petition is scheduled to happen in Marshall on Tuesday.