The week of Butler County protests: Marches, chants and calls for change

More than 75 people gathered Wednesday at the Middletown City Building for marches through downtown Middletown. The groups gathered in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minnesota. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
More than 75 people gathered Wednesday at the Middletown City Building for marches through downtown Middletown. The groups gathered in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minnesota. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

There have been at least six protests in Butler County in the wake of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, being killed May 25 while in police custody in Minneapolis.

During those protests, people have carried “Black Lives Matter” signs, chanted George Floyd’s name, and marched, but there has been few reports of violence compared to some protests in larger cities, according to local police departments.

MORE PROTESTS: Butler County protests drawing many young participants: What organizers are saying

Here is a look back at those events:

Saturday, Middletown

About 30 people protested peacefully until after dark when some rock-throwing began, according to police Chief David Birk.

Police blocked off the entrance to the police station on Reinartz Boulevard, and officers were stationed on a plaza nearby to keep the building safe.

Birk said some juveniles were seen throwing rocks at cars on Main Street.

Sunday, Hamilton

About 350 people walked on High Street sidewalks about eight blocks from the 900 block of High Street to the Butler County Courthouse.

They then walked around the courthouse block seven times, as the Israelites did in the Bible on the seventh day of walking around the city of Jericho.

Aisia Chandler, 44, of Fairfield, who is black, said it was her first protest, and she went “because it’s a peaceful one that is a great cause, and it’s a church-led protest.”

Marchers gathered outside 918 High St. because that’s the location of Hamilton Pastor Patrick Davis’ The Fringe Coffee House, which will employ only ex-felons and may open in September. His church, The Fringe Church, is gathering Sundays and Wednesdays at ArtSpace, 220 High St.

Tuesday, West Chester

More than 100 people gathered at the West Chester Clock Tower and many of the protesters said they also participated in similar events in Cincinnati.

There was some concern the Cincinnati protesters would be violent, but the event was peaceful.

At one point, when the crowd dropped to one knee, they were joined by West Chester police officers.

Wednesday, Middletown

About 75 people gathered outside the Middletown City Building, then most of them marched downtown as car horns could be heard bouncing off buildings.

Several members of the Middletown Division of Police were there and Birk walked with the protesters in 90-degree heat.

Wednesday, Hamilton

A group of protesters marched through downtown Hamilton and at one point stopped, knelt and held fists in the air during the city’s second event this week in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minnesota.

The protesters stopped their march at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and High Street and knelt, chanting things such as “no justice, no peace, no racist police.”

They continued to chant and hold signs at the intersection as many cars honked as they drove past.

Thursday, Oxford

Several hundred people, mostly young, marched through Oxford in the morning. They marched to the Oxford Police Station, then to the Oxford Courthouse where the protesters took a knee.

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