Montgomery Police Chief Releases Statement Regarding Recent Arrests During Protests at State Capitol
Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley has released a statement regarding the recent arrests during protests at the State Capitol. Montgomery Police made several arrest outside of the state Capitol on Tuesday when protesters attempted to spray paint the street in front of the Capitol steps.
Chief Finley released the following statement:
In support of our Mayor’s vision, we believe in the right and power of lawful protest. If citizens will avail themselves of the proper permitting, we can partner with them in an expression of their first amendment rights. However, the defacing and/or destruction of public property will not and cannot be tolerated regardless of who does it.
Regarding the recent arrests of demonstrators in Montgomery, while we have policies in place to deal with these situations, we are always searching for ways to improve all phases of police-community interactions. To that end, while any protester involved in criminal activity will continue to be subject to prosecution in accordance with the law and MPD policy, we are implementing practices to ensure these same individuals are treated in a respectful and professional manner. Ultimately, it is our hope to work together harmoniously to eliminate the need for arrests.
We certainly don’t want men, women, young people or the elderly to get harmed in the process and it is not our intent to humiliate anyone for standing up for the issues they believe in. Over the last several weeks our Department has proven that Montgomery honors the right to peacefully protest. Our interactions with local community leaders in the wake of the George Floyd killing shows how Public Safety & Public Protest can coexist.
It is my sincere hope that we can work through the recent difficulties and move forward together as a community.