On Saturday (June 13th) a group of citizens are expected to gather and march for a peaceful rally in Cherokee County.
That event is set to begin at 12:00 noon at the Hatcher Community Center, formerly the JFK Building off Bay Springs Road in Centre with the march going out to Main Street, then to the County Courthouse. A number of speakers are scheduled to appear at the courthouse – and afterwards, those in the group are expected to return to the community center, where a hamburger and hot dog lunch will be served.
Centre Mayor Tony Wilkie stressed that Main Street along the route will be blocked, and no through traffic will be allowed from the Huddle House to City Hall from noon until 3:00.
The Cherokee County Branch of the NAACP secured a permit from the City of Centre to host this weekend’s March/Rally in the wake of the wrongful death of George Floyd at the hands of a now ex-Minneapolis police officer on May 25th of this year (2020).
Organizers of the event have been in communication with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, and have assured Sheriff Jeff Shaver that the protest will remain respectful, and they have no desire for violence or criminal acts.
The sheriff has issued a statement saying “Should any person become violent the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, the Centre Police Department and Alabama State Troopers are all prepared to protect the lives of all people and surrounding property,” he added “We want to remind everyone that it is unlawful for any person to have in their possession or on their person, or in a vehicle – any firearm while attending or participating in any demonstration being held at a public place, or within 1,000 feet of a demonstration.”
Sheriff Shaver summed up by saying “Again we do not expect any issues of violence to arise on Saturday, and believe that the organizers and participates will responsibly exercise their right to peaceably assemble.”