Injustice protest planned in Murphy, NC

Murphy NC, News

MURPHY, N.C. – As protests continue across the country over police brutality against African Americans, a peaceful protest is planned for Murphy, N.C. on Thursday, June 4. The demonstration will begin at 6 p.m.

The protest will take place in downtown Murphy, and at 5:30 p.m., the Murphy Police Department (MPD) will begin closing off streets and sidewalks. All traffic will be diverted from the area to guarantee organizers’ and participants’ safety.

The organizers have stressed a peaceful demonstration. Anyone who wants to disrupt or start problems won’t be welcome. It’s directed for the local community, and everyone is asked to wear a mask as well as abide by the curfew of 9 p.m.

Reportedly Sheriff Derrick Palmer plans to speak along with the individuals who brought about the peaceful protest.

The organizers filed their paperwork on June 2nd with the MPD. The permit does not allow for the carrying of any firearms, handguns, or rifles.

“While we have viewed and read many Facebook comments regarding people bringing firearms to this demonstration, even for good intentions, or to show solidarity, this will not be allowed. If you show up with a firearm, you will kindly be asked to remain outside of the demonstration area.” – MPD statement

MPD affirmed that it’s the First Amendment Right for American citizens to peaceably assemble, and they will respect the wishes of and assist anyone who wants to do so. The statement also emphasized that the organizers desire to keep the protest “as peaceful as possible.”

The police department also spoke to the George Floyd case:

“While many injustices occur on a daily basis, we never support, nor condone, what occurred this past week to Mr. George Floyd or anyone else. While we will not make this about us, we will be here to support those who peacefully protest to bring awareness to their cause. Some may agree with this statement and some may not. As with anything else, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Please remember…that law enforcement is here to serve and protect everyone.”
Listed below are the following streets and sidewalks that will be closed during this event:
  • Peachtree St. and Alpine St. (Murphy Police Department)
  • Peachtree St. and Central St. (Cherokee County Courthouse)
  • Peachtree St. and Central St. (Adjacent to the Cherokee County Courthouse)
  • Peachtree St. and Valley River Ave./Hiwassee St. (Town Square)
MPD asks that anyone with questions about the protest to not “tie up any emergency lines with the Cherokee County E-911 Communications Center.”
A curfew of 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. has been issued for the Town of Murphy and will remain in effect until rescinded.

The protests began last week after the death of George Floyd, 59, who was murdered while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. Officer Derek Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Floyd’s family and others have called for a first-degree murder charge. The other three former officers also on site were charged on June 3 with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting manslaughter

Cherokee County Sheriff Derrick Palmer issued a statement pertaining to Floyd’s death and the scheduled peaceful protest:

“For over a week now I have watched events unfold before our eyes that are disturbing on many levels. I was sickened to see what happened in Minneapolis to George Floyd by the hands of law enforcement officers sworn to protect and serve his community. I have watched every video that I can find of the incident from the now infamous cell phone video, body cam, and surveillance videos. I have been trying to make sense of how the officers reacted and tried my best to find some reason for their actions. What I saw was simply appeared to be NO EXCUSES what so ever.

I watched Mr. Floyd resist briefly as he was taken from his vehicle but quickly surrendered to he handcuff procedure. He was taken handcuffed and seated on a sidewalk for several minutes obviously upset but made no attempt to kick, strike, spit, or otherwise assault the officers. He was then taken across the street where he apparently collapsed to the street to his stomach. There the officers were apparently on top of him with the one officer remaining on his neck for at least eight minutes.

Mr. Floyd repeatedly stated that he could not breath and was in medical distress. Of all these actions, the one thing that disturbed me the most was the officers apparent lack of concern or empathy for Mr. Floyd. It does not matter the crime, how big or how small. There was glaring lack of empathy for the well being of another human being.

It also should not make a difference if Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation, heart attack, or any other medical condition. He was asking for help and no help was given. Medical aid was not rendered. He expressed his fear of dying and his struggle to survive while he was being pressed into the ground all the while handcuffed.

I can not fathom how anyone can rationally justify the officers actions. In my opinion, if any officer has seen the videos and continues to defend these officers actions they should resign and turn their badge in immediately because that is not what we are about. Accidents often happen when making split second decisions, and as a result life is lost at times, but as law enforcement officers we should do everything we can to protect the lives of our citizens, including the lives of suspects involved with criminal activity. When we fail, it is our obligation and duty to rectify, retrain, regroup, and make our profession better than the way we found it.

As I have watched protests across our nation, we must remember that it is our right as citizens to protest injustice. However, I have watched protest turn into looting, rioting and attacking people and property. I do not support attacking innocent persons and criminal activity during these events. However, I do support our constitutional right to peacefully protest injustice. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Murphy Police Department has been working with local citizens who desire to assemble peacefully in the town of Murphy.

To our citizens: THERE ARE NO PLANS FOR VIOLENCE AND DISRUPTION BY THE ORGANIZERS.

We have talked with the organizers of the event and are confident that only peaceful participation is encouraged. In talking with these organizers, we agree that we all have a responsibility be a shining light in our community that will bring encouragement and solidarity to overcome injustice. We strongly discourage anyone who will try to derail the efforts and bring violence and disruption to our community. This is not just directed to persons who are planning on participating in the assembly but is directed also to anyone who would come to intimidate, harass, loot, riot or otherwise cause conflict in a peaceful demonstration.

It is the goal of the organizers and law enforcement to show solidarity in the efforts to exercise constitutional rights. It is also the goal of our local law enforcement to protect life, property, and to keep law and order.

May God bless all of us and our nation during these trying times. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27”

Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes even when onlookers pleaded with him to stop and Floyd had passed out from loss of air. Floyd’s family’s private autopsy concluded that his death was a result of asphyxia. Hennepin County’s medical examiner stated that the cause of death was “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” However, both listed homicide as how Floyd died.

Floyd was accused of attempting to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. His death is the third African American death to hit the news cycle in the last two months – Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.

8 Comments

  1. Mad June 3, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Any update on location in Murphy? Thanks

    • Lauren Souther June 3, 2020 at 5:09 pm

      The article was just updated to include that information, including street closings.

    • Melanie June 5, 2020 at 3:57 am

      I agree I live in Mineral Bluff and have family who live in Murphy on the outskirts. Hopefully it was peaceful. Because everyone matters.

  2. G. Zane Cofield June 4, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Pretty vague, “…the organizers..”

    To whom was the Permit To Demonstrate” issued? Public Information under NC law. Why isn’t it included in this report?

    Thanks.

  3. Bradley Burrell June 4, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Just hope some of the good citizens of Murphy do not get hurt, I grew up there if they don’t allow outsiders in when things get headed south it will be just that, a peaceful protest, blood will be on the hands of the organizers of things go wrong. Why downtown? Why not the ball fields?? Most people living around Murphy are gone before 6…

    • Jim June 4, 2020 at 4:02 pm

      The ‘protest’ is all about them. That simple.

    • James Russell June 4, 2020 at 4:04 pm

      Were I a Murphy business I would consider a Federal suit against the protesters and especially the permit holder regarding the obstruction of commerce.

  4. Robert Williams June 4, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Why has Murphy,NC been selected for a protest march.? I lived there for beginning in 1995 and we never had any type of racial problems or police brutality reports. I now live in Georgia near Murphy and I have not heard of any racial problems there. I do know that over the past several years a billboard or two was erected stating controversial statements concerning four members of the United States Congress but the community in general reacted to those views and a hundred or so demonstrated against the billboards and they were taken down. It seems illogical for demonstrators would select Murphy,NC to air grievances for the tragic killing of Mr. Floyd. WHAT IS GOING ON …

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