Students from Ceres High School are planning a peaceful protest on Sunday morning at Whitmore Park in the aftermath of nationwide protests for the George Floyd death in Minnesota on May 25.
A protest staged in Oakdale on Wednesday ended in some violence and two arrests. Two Oakdale Police officers were injured in a scuffle after a person in a convertible drove up and threw an object at the protesters and a fight ensued. Police then ended the protest, declaring it an unlawful assembly.
A larger protest in Modesto on Saturday, May 30 was mostly peaceful.
Ceres Police Chief Rick Collins said his department has been communicating with organizers who pledge a peaceful protect when the gathering takes place at 11 a.m. in the downtown park.
“We believe this will be a peaceful protest and are taking steps to make this event safe for everyone who attends,” said Chief Collins. “In addition, we will do everything we can to protect the businesses in our community, residences, and attendees.”
He said he wants the Ceres event to be “an example to the nation on expressing our concerns without destroying the town where we live, work, and call home. We respect and support the right of free speech and peacefully assembly.”
“We are there for you and will be prepared in the event a small contingent of individuals attempt to disrupt the event or have intentions that are not peaceful.”
Collins condemned the death of Floyd as horrific and said “the very incident that sparked recent protests throughout the nation is unacceptable. Everyone I have spoken to about his death is not okay with the circumstances.”