LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Central Virginia police are already gearing up for the verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial in Minnesota.
On Friday, April 16, the Lynchburg Police Department held a meeting with some community leaders in an effort to ease tension at any upcoming demonstrations.
“What we had asked this year is that if at any moment people feel that they want to exercise their First Amendment right is that they remain peaceful,” Deputy Chief Mark Jamison told WFXR News.
Hoping to keep things peaceful, Jamison spoke with the Lynchburg NAACP and a similar organization called “One Community, One Voice.”
According to One Community, One Voice’s Executive Director, James Camm, “When people feel untreated or that justice is not served correctly, you’re going to hear people’s voices.”
Camm described an incident that happened last year, saying, “It was a militia that was not even from this area who came in with guns and were on the rooftops and that became intimidating to the crowd.”
Jamison says more staffing is the first thing they would consider when expecting a large demonstration. The Lynchburg Police Department does have other plans in place, but cannot release specifics.
“We expect our community leaders and our community members to come together and work towards this so we don’t have violence again this year,” Jamison added.
There is an application for assistance with public demonstration on Lynchburg Police’s website.