Ever since organizers announced a march and protest in honor of George Floyd, there has been a swirl of rumors about the event on social media.
Floyd, an African American, died at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer May 25. That officer and others at the scene who did nothing to stop him have been charged with murder and accessories to murder.
It is only natural that people would have high emotions about an event such as this, especially considering the violence that has broken out in protests in many cities across the nation.
But that’s no reason to believe the rumors.
One photo circulating on social media shows pallets of bricks located on Levee Street, as if they would be used by protesters. They have been moved to storage.
Another rumor was that people are being bused in for the event. We have not been able to substantiate that inference, but hopefully, if visitors come to Vicksburg, they will spend money at our local businesses and enjoy their stay.
Some have made threats that they may attempt acts of violence. The appropriate agencies are aware of the threats and are prepared to act swiftly if needed.
Many cities around the state have conducted peaceful protests without incident this week. I feel we can do the same.
South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour believes Vicksburg officers would not engage in the deadly behavior as the officer in Minneapolis.
“What happened is reprehensible, and those now former officers should be punished,” he said. “We a have highly trained police force, and we would never allow things of that nature.”
Monsour went on to say that with the mayor and chief involved in Friday’s march, “We hope citizens will see that we are always open for discussion on improving community relations.”
At the end of the day, my take is this: Come out if you choose to. Listen with an open mind.
I would like to think we can have a civil event because Vicksburg is better than many places.
In the words of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson, “Come. Let us reason together.”See a typo? Report it here.