The village of Bethel went under a 9 p.m. curfew on Monday as groups of Black Lives Matter protesters and counter-protesters met in the rural Clermont County town.
Bethel Police Chief Steve Teague said two people were arrested for disorderly conduct and another for being drunk in the roadway Monday evening, our news partner WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported.
The day before, a protest against racism and police brutality only expected to draw 100 people swelled to 800 as counter-protesters — some carrying rifles and others supporting “Back the Blue’ groups — that led to about 10 incidents, what Bethel officials called “minor scuffles.”
Videos shared on social media showed clashes involving racial slurs.
Hannah Barger and her sister Hailey were part of a group of several dozen protesters along Main Street surrounded by law enforcement Monday. Hannah Barger told WCPO she was upset more people weren’t supporting the Black Lives Matter rallies against racism and police brutality.
“It’s embarrassing on this town’s part,” she said. “This town is disgusting and it’s a disgrace to say that I’m from here. I don’t even want to say I’m from here anymore.”
Denver Hinkston, one of several hundred counter-protesters, said Bethel doesn’t need the protest.
“You can have a conversation but don’t put ‘Black Lives Matter’ in it. Put ‘everyone’s lives matter’ in it. That’s what gets everybody all upset,” he told WCPO.
Monday night’s curfew will be in effect through 6 a.m. Tuesday, but it excludes anyone traveling to and from work, those who are homeless and those seeking medical attention.
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