Hutchinson police chief shares concern over protest set for Sunday

Local

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – The Hutchinson Police Department is preparing for another protest this Sunday, June 14.

A protest last weekend was peaceful despite rumors that there might be trouble. Those who attended took a knee for more than eight minutes, the time a Minneapolis officer had his knee on George Floyd before his death.

Hutchinson Police Chief Jeffrey Hooper said he has been informed that the organizer of that protest is planning another protest for Sunday.

He said it was only through countless hours of behind the scenes work that police were able to mitigate the threat to the community.

Even though the first protest was peaceful, he says it had a negative impact.

“The event caused widespread fear to the extent that many community members would not even leave their homes,” he said in a post on Facebook. “Small businesses and banks closed, with some even boarding up their windows. These businesses have suffered enough lately with COVID-19 and this was just another blow to them and our community.”

The chief says police are trying to work with the protest organizer, Teresa Delgado. He says he supports their right to freedom of speech.

“I am committed to allowing this group to have a peaceful protest but at the same time, I will not allow the event to infringe on the rights of the citizens of Hutchinson,” said Hooper.

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