ELLSWORTH – Police Chief Glenn Moshier said the police department has heard from multiple sources that there is a potential for armed citizens coming to the city Friday afternoon to protect the downtown during the planned Black Lives Matter rally.
“I would like to reassure all of the business owners and citizens of Ellsworth that the Ellsworth Police Department is well prepared for any and all contingencies dealing with this afternoon’s planned protest,” Moshier said in a statement issued Friday morning.
“We are expecting a peaceful protest and will do everything we can to minimize the disruption created by the protest,” he said. “Many of the rumors have been exaggerated or are simply not true.”
He asked those coming to Ellsworth to protest or to counter-protest to “please know that the Ellsworth Police Department intends to maintain law and order and we will do everything within our power to ensure the safety and security of all protesters while providing everyone with the opportunity to exercise their 1st amendment rights safely. We will not tolerate lawlessness and any violations of law will be dealt with swiftly and without hesitation.”
Friday’s rally is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. in the city’s downtown.