ASHTABULA, Ohio (WKBN) – In a letter penned to the community, Ashtabula Police Chief Robert Stell said that he and his department stand with those planning a peaceful protest against police brutality.
The protest is scheduled for Saturday, June 6 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Cornelius Park.
“Our police department strongly supports this cause and wish to stand together with our community against police brutality,” Stell wrote.
Extra patrols will be assigned to the gathering, Stell said. He said the officers will be on hand if needed “but not to impeded or infringe on this event in any way.”
Stell said his staff wished to maintain a peaceful and safe environment so that “people’s voices will be heard.”
A number of city leaders and local officials will also be joining the demonstration, Stell said.
Protests have been happening across the Valley and the nation in response to the killing George Floyd, a black man who died while being restrained by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Locally, most protests have been peaceful. In Youngstown, protesters shut down I-680 for a short time over the weekend. Vandals damaged windows at the Choffin Carerr and Technical Center and at United Way, and some protesters surrounded a police cruiser downtown.
In Warren, a peaceful protest was held downtown Monday without incident. The people walked and chanted but nothing was broken. Only one person was arrested for fighting with another person.
Many protests have been peaceful while others have been plagued by violence, often times by outside groups that have infiltrated peaceful demonstrations.
Felony charges were filed against 33 people following protests in Cleveland. An investigation by WJW Fox 8 determined that some of those protesting in Cleveland used fake local addresses. The police chief there believes many were not from the area at all.