Protests in Butler County: More scheduled through this weekend

More than 75 people gathered Wednesday at the Middletown City Building as protestors marches through downtown Middletown. The groups gathered in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minnesota. Myranda Lucarelli, left, and Joshua Oatneal chant as they walk along Central Avenue. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
More than 75 people gathered Wednesday at the Middletown City Building as protestors marches through downtown Middletown. The groups gathered in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minnesota. Myranda Lucarelli, left, and Joshua Oatneal chant as they walk along Central Avenue. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

More demonstrations are scheduled in Butler County in response to an unarmed black man being killed May 25 while in police custody in Minneapolis.

Protests are scheduled for Saturday in Middletown, Sunday in Hamilton and Monday in Oxford.

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From 1-4 p.m. Saturday, demonstrators are scheduled to gather at Governor’s Square in Middletown’s downtown business district.

At 1 p.m. Sunday, a vigil is planned for Bailey Square in Hamilton.

Oxford residents will hold a vigil at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Uptown Memorial Park with speakers expected at 7 p.m.

Police Chief John Jones made a statement recently on Facebook where he said he felt it was important to communicate with the public about his feelings on the death of Floyd.

“What I saw in the George Floyd video does not represent the values of OPD and was indefensible, unjust, and inexcusable,” he wrote. “The men and women who work here at OPD are disgusted by it and understand how much it sets back the progress we have strived for in our profession. This incident is not representative of how OPD conducts business or of law enforcement as a whole.”

The Middletown Area NAACP chapter is presenting an event at 10 a.m. June 20 when participants will “peacefully walk” from the Bus Depot to the Middletown City Building. There will be a program at the city building.

The event is called “Middletown United for Change 2020.”

Police Chief David Birk said his department “100 percent supports peaceful protests.” He said officers will have a presence at all the events and demonstrators will not be allowed to block traffic.

“Safety is the key,” Birk said. “We don’t want anyone hurt.”

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