Grand Island police to meet with protesters Wednesday evening
Grand Island police plan to meet with protesters Wednesday evening following unrest that unfolded later during Tuesday night's protest.
Captain Jim Duering said following Tuesday night's altercations between officers and protesters they will be discussing ways to peacefully move forward, as well as the possibility of a curfew.
Following the protest, which turned violent after police said protesters were throwing rocks, the department released this statement on their Facebook page, "We DO value everyone's first amendment rights to protest peacefully. We DO NOT consider throwing rocks at passing vehicles (as reported at 11:05 pm and 11:54 pm) peaceable assembly. When non-peaceful persons are given a lawful order to disperse so we can regain peace, and respond by throwing rocks at police officers as reported at 11:56 pm and 12:03 am), we take enforcement action. We will continue to strive to work TOGETHER with those who truly want to peacefully get a message heard the right way. We will not tolerate destruction and violence for the same cause."
Protesters have countered this statement saying rocks were thrown after police started shooting them with rubber bullets and pepper spray.
The Grand Island Fire Department also echoed a similar sentiment with a Facebook post reading, " Last night, a few people walked out and attempted to obstruct a responding ambulance (with lights and sirens) on South Locust during what was an otherwise peaceful exercise of their First Amendment right. The ambulance and crew were dispatched to I-80 for a car accident, fortunately those involved with the accident were treated and will be okay. We take pride in caring for all who call upon our service, we do not discriminate who is cared for or whose house/business is protected. We ask that if you further exercise your First Amendment right of free speech, please be safe and allow emergency vehicles to freely pass."