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Student-organized protest ends peacefully in O’Fallon

Photo credit Jim Ottomeyer

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.

4 Comments

  1. I applaud the students for organizing to show their passion for justice and deep concern for the inequities that still exist in the USA after all these years. No skin color, gender, political affiliation, creed, religious beliefs, income bracket, or any other “difference” should matter to an arresting officer. We are supposed to be equal under the law. I am a white female, but when I was in financial difficulties and driving a scruffy old truck, I received more tickets in that couple of years than I have in the entire rest of my life. I know I was targeted because of my income level. Of course it made it much harder to maintain myself when I received a $100 to $300 ticket every couple of months. I drove the same way before, during, and after that period. This was an unpleasant but tiny taste of what goes on all the time for minorities. I was eventually able to buy a nicer vehicle. It’s not as easy to change your race. It’s not right that skin color puts you at risk of being targeted for punitive fines and tickets, unreasonable arrest, violence, even death at the hands of those who should protect and serve you. Granted that not all police officers do these things, but it seems like most must have at one time or another turned a blind eye to them. That has to stop. Every one of us must be able to trust our local police forces to be just and fair in enforcing the law. We will never overcome the justifiable fear and mistrust of targeted communities until we make that happen.

  2. I commend the O’Fallon Police Department for their compassion and support of the protesters and their cause. We all must reach out and stand united against racism and bigotry.

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