O’Fallon Police Chief Tim Clothier walked arm-in-arm with student protesters Monday night as a group of several hundred marched from Fort Zumwalt West High School to the police station on Bryan Road.
It was the first large protest to take place in St. Charles County after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis one week ago and the arrest of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes despite Floyd saying that he couldn’t breathe. Cities all over the United States have been the scene of protests, many of which have developed into confrontations with police, violence, looting, and property damage.
O’Fallon police first mentioned the local protest on their Facebook page Sunday evening. “We are aware and have credible information about the march/demonstration planned for Monday evening in the City of O’Fallon. Our goal will be to provide a safe passageway for those protesting while trying to ensure their safety, the safety of our community, and the safety of our officers. We are communicating with the organizers and have put several measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety; however, we fully anticipate traffic may be heavily impacted during demonstration and we ask that our citizens have patience. We will allow traffic to flow in its normal manner as soon as we can safely do so.”
The department also announced that Bryan Road would be closed in both directions from Mexico Road to Veterans Memorial Parkway. After the peaceful march was over, the protesters dispersed. All roads were reopened by 8:45.