Community

Small town join protests, but no rioting ensues

By Clint Parker

Weaverville – According to Weaverville Police Chief Ron Davis, there were about 75 citizens who attended a demonstration over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minnesota police officer Thursday evening (June 4) on Main Street in Weaverville, which lasted from 5 pm – 7 pm.

“It was an extremely peaceful group and there was no vandalism, or for that matter violations of any other law. I’m uncertain if they will come back and we have no indication they will,” said Davis. “I would add the group of protestors made their point abundantly clear and they were respectful of our town, our laws and its citizens.”

According to Weaverville Mayor Al Root, who joined the protesters at the event, the rally organizer was Erin McGrady. He also echoed what Davis stated, saying, “I am unaware of any further protest plans.”

Root was asked about going out to the protest, along with other town officials. He told the Tribune, “Town officials were out there last night because we owed it to at least three groups.” He then pointed out the groups as first the protestors.

“We wanted them to know that the town leadership understands the importance of listening to citizens of all political stripes. I saw three members of town council observing and listening to the demonstration, as well as myself and the town manager,” said Root. “Ms. McGrady had contacted the town on Wednesday and had assured us that the group would be peaceful and cooperative (which they were) and they were owed the courtesy of our attention.”

“I would also echo what Mayor Al Root said in that, it was a peaceful protest without even a hint of violence and it was how protests should be conducted,” said Davis.

The next group the mayor cited were Main Street business owners. “We wanted them to know that the town leadership understood the importance of protecting their livelihoods. We have all seen far too many pictures and videos of the destruction caused by a few who have used the cover of similar demonstrations, and we owed our businesses the courtesy of showing that we were paying attention to make sure that they were not victimized.”

Lastly, Root mentioned was “the hard-working employees of the Town of Weaverville: The event was peaceful, but our employees put in a lot of preparation to be ready in case trouble did occur. They were owed the courtesy of being shown that their elected officials were out there too and appreciate what they do for us every day.”

Root went on to say, “As to Mr. Floyd’s death, what can one say? It was a horrific act. Racism and hatred are forces that we are never finished battling. In Weaverville, we are fortunate to have a town manager and police chief who are dedicated to the proposition that such forces can never be allowed to flourish.”

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