Annapolis police preparing for Friday’s protest rally

| December 10, 2014 | 4 Comments

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UPDATE 2:  From the Annapolis Police Department:

A march has been planned by a group in Annapolis.  This march is scheduled for Friday, December 12th at 5:30pm.  The group plans to gather at the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial at the foot of City Dock.  They plan to march from there up Main Street and around Church Circle to end at Lawyers’ Mall at College Avenue and Bladen Street.  Streets will be closed as the marchers move through the area.

Along with this march, there is a possibility of civil disobedience occurring in the early afternoon in the Rowe Boulevard and Forest Drive areas.  Other areas in the city may also be impacted.  There may be traffic delays and disruptions from acts of civil disobedience.  In other cities people have blocked traffic as part of these acts.

These are the details we have at this time.  Please follow us on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/AnnapolisPolice or on Twitter at @AnnapolisPD for the latest information.  We will be posting updates on both accounts tomorrow as events develop.  

UPDATE 1 :  Corrected paragraph prior to Chief Pristoop’s email. The Chief does NOT expect any violence; however, the department is prepared for civil disobedience. 

Area religious leaders in the area have organized a march and rally for Friday evening to protest police violence in the wake of the national cases involving Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Akai Gurley.

In an email obtained by Eye On Annapolis, Pastor Stephen Tillett of the Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church told an unknown number of recipients that a meeting is scheduled for noon tomorrow to “finalize the plans for Friday and beyond.” Additionally, he wrote:

Some of you may already be aware of the attached information, others not. It is my intention to make sure we cast as wide a net as possible so everyone who wants to be involved in Annapolis in the Kairos moment that is sweeping the country can do so.  A protest is planned for downtown Annapolis this Friday.  We hope you can participate and will encourage your members and your networks to join us, as well.

The Ward One Residents Association sent out an email blast this afternoon advising members that there was an additional concern for civil disobedience.

Along with this march, there is a possibility of civil disobedience occurring in other areas of the city around the same time.  There may be traffic delays and disruptions from these acts of civil disobedience.  In other cities people have blocked traffic as part of these acts.

Neither the City nor the Annapolis Police Department have issued any press releases or advisories about the planned march, but they are well aware of it.  In an email obtained by Eye On Annapolis this afternoon, Chief Michael Pristoop has advised City Leaders that he has secured the assistance of numerous law enforcement agencies to deal with any violence which he expects to occur civil disobedience.

There is a march scheduled for this Friday at 5:30 p.m. Members will gather at the Alex Haley Memorial at 5:30 p.m. and will march on Main Street toward Church Circle. At this point, it is not clear whether the march will move to Lawyers’ Mall at the State House or continue on West Street. There’s a possibly it will end at State Circle then head to the Justice Taney memorial.

There is information that another group may commit acts of civil disobedience. There is a meeting among this group tonight to determine what they intend to do.

The APD has reached out to OEM, AACO Police Department, Maryland State Police, Maryland Capital Police, Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office. AACO Police Department and Maryland State Police have committed resources. The Sheriff’s Office has opened the Circuit Court to operate as a command post. OEM is coordinating City resources to include message boards, Parking Enforcement Officers, and buses. OEM has also reached out to State Highway Administration for access to overhead signs on Interstate 97 if needed.

Within APD shifts have been changed to have the most personnel on duty during the event but leave has not been cancelled. A call-up list is available if needed. Officers were provided with training. Equipment has been readied for transportation and deployment.

We have been in constant contact with organizers of the march. We have explained that we are here to help them have a successful event and are sharing information.

The Operations Plan is fluid at this time but will be finalized tomorrow. A meeting with other law enforcement agencies will be held on Thursday at 1:00 p.m.

Chief Pristoop

As has been the case across the nation, we will not know if these protests will remain peaceful or cause a disturbance until they happen. It is reasonable to expect a significant crowd during the rush hour on Friday and motorists are advised to avoid the City Dock/Main Street/Church Circle area during the impacted times.

As more information develops, we will be bring it to you. For immediate and up to date bursts of information, follow us on Twitter.

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About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.