Protestors holding signs at the corner of U.S. 522 and Fairfax Street on Tuesday afternoon, June 2, said a larger gathering in support of racial justice is set for today, Wednesday, June 3 in the same location. A Facebook event called “Justice for Floyd” has been created to promote a peaceful protest in Berkeley Springs State Park on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m.
George Floyd was the black man who died in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes despite Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe. Protests have been sparked nationwide over the incident and other recent killings of black citizens. In some cities, the protests have been accompanied by fire, vandalism and looting, with some violent clashes between members of the public and police.
During a Wednesday morning Morgan County Commission meeting, Sheriff K.C. Bohrer told county officials he has been in contact with local event organizers who assured him the event in Berkeley Springs would be peaceful. He said his department is aware of and prepared for the event, in coordination with State Park officials and town officers.
“We will be observers for any public safety issues,” Bohrer said. He said organizers even invited him to participate as a speaker in the public event.