FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor and City Manager encourage safe, lawful protests
A resolution before City Council tonight condemns the horrific actions by the four ex-Minneapolis police officers that led to the tragic death of George Floyd.
“We understand the anger surrounding those intolerable actions and we share that anger,” said Mayor Ken McClure, in a video that he and City Manager Jason Gage released to the public today.
“We want to commend the Springfield Police Department and those who protested peacefully over the weekend. We appreciate the empathetic approach taken by our officers and we have seen several stories of positive interactions between officers and protesters. Thank you to our community for being a model in the wake of this tragedy. We hear your concerns and your voice matters,” Gage said.
The City is aware of plans to continue protests and supports peaceful assembly. However, protests must be conducted lawfully. During this weekend’s demonstrations, officers blocked traffic at the intersection of Battlefield and Glenstone and surrounding areas, to allow citizens to safely protest. Given the circumstances, the City supported those actions.
“We cannot allow protesters to continue to block major roadways, however, putting themselves and others at risk and disrupting business and the day-to-day activities of the citizens of Springfield,” said Mayor McClure.
The City has an event-permitting process that allows groups over the size of 50 to apply to close public streets for special events. Due to COVID-19, the City is not currently issuing permits for large events on City right-of-way or property.
The City encourages any citizen or group of citizens to gather to protest or otherwise exercise their First Amendment rights, in the public square, as that is the designated place in Springfield for citizens to do this without a permit. For more information, contact the Department of Public Information & Civic Engagement at 417-864-1009.
“Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together to navigate this difficult time. Please be safe,” Mayor McClure said.
For more information, please contact City of Springfield Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement at Cora Scott at 417-380-3352 or [email protected] or Anita Cotter, City Clerk, at 417-864-1651 or [email protected].