City of Springfield mayor, city manager encourage safe, lawful protests

Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 5:25 PM CDT
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A resolution before Springfield City Council Monday night condemns the actions by the four ex-Minneapolis police officers leading to the death of George Floyd.

Several protests happened across the city of Springfield over the weekend.

“We understand the anger surrounding those intolerable actions and we share that anger,” said Mayor Ken McClure, in a video that he and city Manager Jason Gage released Monday.

“We want to commend the Springfield Police Department and those who protested peacefully over the weekend. 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,” Gage said.

The city is aware of plans to continue protests and supports peaceful assembly. However, protests must be conducted lawfully. During this weekend’s demonstrations, officers blocked traffic at the intersection of Battlefield and Glenstone and surrounding areas, to allow citizens to safely protest. Given the circumstances, the City supported those actions.

“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,” said City Manager Gage.

The city has an event-permitting process that allows groups over the size of 50 to apply to close public streets for special events. Due to COVID-19, the city is not currently issuing permits for large events on City right-of-way or property.

The city encourages any citizen or group of citizens to gather to protest or otherwise exercise their First Amendment rights, in the public square, as that is the designated place in Springfield for citizens to do this without a permit. For more information, contact the Department of Public Information & Civic Engagement at 417-864-1009.

“Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together to navigate this difficult time. Please be safe,” Mayor McClure said.