Springfield Mayor Ken McClure and City Manager Jason Gage has released a video to the public encouraging safe and lawful protests in the wake of the George Floyd situation and protests in the city.
McClure and Gage said they understand the anger that people have for the intolerable actions in the George Floyd case, and they praised the peaceful protesters in the city along with Springfield police.
“We want to commend the Springfield Police Department and those who protested peacefully over the weekend,” Gage said. “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.”
The duo addressed protests from the weekend where protesters moved into roadways and intersections, blocking traffic. Springfield police barricaded roads leading to the site for the protection of those marching and protesting. However, Gage said that the city cannot allow those kinds of protests to continue in the manner they took place over the weekend.
“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,” McClure said.
Gage noted the city’s event-permitting process is on hold because of the COVID-19 outbreak, so they cannot issue permits for protests on city right-of-way or property.
However, protesting is allowed on the downtown square, as this has been designated by the city as space for Springfield citizens to protest without a permit.
Here is the video: