Florence Police Department advises protesters on what to do if threatened

Racial Justice Movement

FLORENCE, Ala. — Protesters in Florence have been consistently speaking out for the relocation of the downtown Confederate monument going on sixteen weeks. There has also been consistent opposition demanding the monument not be moved.

Some of those opposed have taken to social media to voice their opinions, but protesters say that continued comments promoting violence have sparked concerns over their safety.

Project Say Something Founder Camille Bennett said that on Friday during the group’s Occupy Downtown protest, there were instances where she and other protesters were almost hit by vehicles while crossing the street.

“I was walking with two children, a child about eleven and a child about eight, and we were crossing the street and a motorcycle came about eighteen inches away from our bodies,” Bennett said.

Bennett said she raised her arm to block the children as the biker rode past them yelling expletives.

“I don’t know if it was a warning or if he really did want to hit us but he was definitely hostile and purposeful,” Bennett said.

Bennett said Project Say Something has recently been the target of multiple threats involving being run over.

In regards to the crosswalk incident, Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler responded saying that the police department encourages both pedestrians and drivers to be very careful on roadways downtown.

He added that any citizen who feels as though someone broke a law and endangered them, can follow up with a police report. Citizens can also obtain a summons through the magistrate’s office and require the offender be brought before a judge.

As for the social media comments, Chief Tyler said the police department continues to monitor online threats and provide a presence during protests.

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