News

Actions

Chief Williams stresses importance of bike patrols

Posted: 10:39 AM, Jul 20, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-20 14:39:19Z

In a Wednesday morning press conference, Chief of Police Calvin Williams spoke about the incident Tuesday afternoon when he was shoved, protest activity so far in the city, and the importance of bike patrols in maintaining order. 

The shoving incident, which ended in a powerful prayer circle, was escalated by the convergence of several different groups of protesters. Williams said that there was probably more media in the area than violent demonstrators. 

Williams also noted that there were people "running through the streets like hooligans" from Public Square to East 12 Street. 

He also went on to say how important the presence of bike patrols have been on maintaining peace and separation between competing protesting groups. The bike patrols have been used to separate groups of protesters and cordone off parts of streets and Public Square. 

"We're definitely taking notes," he said. "After each deployment of the bicycle unit officers we kind of look at it and we make adjustments. Yesterday was the same thing. We brought them into the square, they did a great job of sectioning people down. We did a couple extra things with the bicycle unit that we haven't done in the past and it worked out pretty well for us."

Williams was asked by a member of the media why open carry was allowed, when toy guns and squirt guns were not.

"Because a real gun is protected by state law and the constitution," responded Williams dryly.

He also added that protesters found carrying bags of urine, presumably to throw on people, had the bags confiscated. He said tactical officers and snipers were employed to let the public know they're safe in any circumstance.

Mayor Frank Jackson noted that business as usual has been interrupted by the activities of the RNC. He said some people have had to get up earlier, work from home, or change their travel routes. According to the mayor, people from out of town seem to be enjoying themselves during the Convention. 

<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsarahephinney%2Fvideos%2F1275733009111642%2F&show_text=0&width=400" width="400" height="400" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>

<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsarahephinney%2Fvideos%2F1275739822444294%2F&show_text=0&width=400" width="400" height="400" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>