Local police prepare for possible protests following Chauvin verdict

As the nation awaits the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial in Minnesota, local police are preparing for demonstrations and asking anyone who plans to demonstrate to do so peacefully and to alert officials ahead of time.

The jury in the case connected to George Floyd’s death began deliberating Monday afternoon and continued on Tuesday. The jury heard nearly six hours of closing arguments from opposing attorneys in Hennepin County District Court about whether the former Minneapolis police officer should be convicted or acquitted of killing Floyd May 25, 2020, by pinning him to the pavement until he died.

Floyd’s death prompted a number of protests throughout the region last year, and it’s possible that more protests and civil unrest will start again after the verdict has been read.

ExploreKey events since George Floyd's arrest and death

“The Dayton Police Department wants to ensure the safety of anyone who wants to exercise their First Amendment rights to peacefully gather or protest,” the department said in a statement. “The department regularly monitors current events happening around our state and across the country as well as any locally planned gatherings, events, or protests and adjusts staffing as appropriate.”

“In order to properly plan for the safety of our residents and visitors, it would be helpful for event organizers to notify the department of any planned gatherings, events, or protests within the city of Dayton in advance by contacting the Dayton Police Department’s Special Event Coordinator at 333-1105 or by sending an e-mail to DPD_SpecialEventCoordinator@daytonohio.gov.”

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office also said they are preparing for protests.

“The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office supports the right to demonstrate peacefully, however, in the case that any protesting shifts to civil unrest following the verdict of the trial, the Sheriff’s Office has contingency plans in place to protect life, property, and maintain civil order,” a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.

The state of Ohio sent 100 State Highway Patrol troopers to assist with security assignments in Minnesota.

Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota requested the assistance of state troopers from Ohio and Nebraska after the Minnesota state legislature approved funding for the additional security, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Minnesota has experienced civil unrest in the cities of Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center in the past weeks as the Derek Chauvin murder trial awaits a jury verdict, and tensions over the recent fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

Ohio state troopers left Monday to assist with security assignments so that Minnesota law enforcement officers have the ability to respond to incidents as needed, according to Staff Lt. Craig Cvetan, Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesman.

“The troopers’ role will be very similar to what they do here in Ohio,” Cvetan said. “They will be present to keep people safe and protect property. Our goal is the same as it is here, to work with our law enforcement partners to keep people safe, to protect property and still allow everyone to exercise their constitutional rights safely.”

Cvetan said the highway patrol has committed to a timeframe for the assistance, however for security reasons he could not discuss how long that will be.

This is not the first time Ohio has sent troopers to assist another state. In 2016, 37 state troopers were deployed to assist in North Dakota over protests concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline. Ohio also received assistance from out of state officers during the 2016 Republican National Convention.

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