EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – There were a number of protests around the nation Saturday because of the police-custody death of George Floyd. Some were destructive, others were peaceful, like one in East Liverpool.
A crowd of about 50 people marched toward East Liverpool City Hall earlier Saturday afternoon. They met up on the steps of the hall where the crowd grew to about 150 people.
“It gives me hope that there are people willing to step up and change our county and our world,” said Daniel Winston, one of the protestors.
They were protesting against police brutality in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota.
But even though that happened more than 800 miles away, people came to East Liverpool. Being one of the biggest cities in the county, they felt it was a good spot to have their voices heard.
But police were concerned and ready.
“The problem is they’ll get bigger and you’ll draw more people in from outside of our area and that’s where my concern comes in. I don’t think our locals will do anything to hurt our own town,” said Chief John Lane of the East Liverpool Police Department.
As protesters gathered in front of City Hall, police have blocked off a section of West 6th Street for everyone’s protection.
“Every officer is appreciated. It’s just bad officers have to be held accountable for. If there’s a bad officer, we need to make sure we talk about it,” said Winston.
But in the second hour of the protest, Chief Lane was asked to speak to the crowd, standing in the middle and attempting to answer questions with a megaphone.
“I didn’t want to go up and talk, but I felt it was going to get a little too rowdy if I didn’t, but I went up there and answered the questions the best I could,” said Chief Lane.
Many times when Chief Lane would try to answer questions, he would get cut-off or spoken over.
“Sometimes they wouldn’t let you answer,” Chief Lane said. “They pretty much want to hear what they want to hear. Sometimes they don’t want to hear what the truth is.”
The protests ended peacefully around 3 p.m. with a prayer before everyone left.