SYLACAUGA -- After some confusion, it appears one peaceful protest march in memory of George Floyd will take place in Sylacauga on Friday night, while a protest rumored to be planned for Thursday is in question.
Floyd was an African-American man who died May 25 at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.
Kendra Bradford, a representative from Peacefully Chanting, said her Talladega County-based group, which held a peaceful protest in Talladega in memory of Floyd on Sunday, would hold a similar protest in Sylacauga on Friday night at 6.
“The message we’re trying to convey is that we want peace, equality and justice for all,” Bradford said. “We stand against police brutality and injustice, no matter what race or ethnicity.
“We are firm believers that racism, discrimination and injustice is wrong, and we’re asking anyone that agrees with this agenda to join us in Sylacauga on Friday.”
Bradford said the protest would begin at City Hall. The group will start a short march to Noble Park and hold a rally there. She added the group has obtained a permit to conduct its protest.
The rumored protest announced Monday via the Black Lives Matter Sylacauga Facebook page may not take place, according to Sylacauga police Chief Kelley Johnson.
During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Johnson said he made phone contact with some of the people who had posted about the Thursday protest and discovered the page had been created by a juvenile female.
“Her grandmother talked to me and said that she (the granddaughter) is passionate about it, but I think she has to go through some steps to make it a lawful protest,” Johnson said. “She thinks the granddaughter is going to cancel (the Thursday protest) and maybe attend the Friday protest.
“I have instructed her that whatever she advertised, the means that she advertised on -- Snapchat, Facebook or whatever those things are, or if she Tweeted -- she needs to go back and make notice that she’s canceling the rally. I don’t think there was anything planned other than she put it on Facebook, and the response was great.”
Johnson said his officers will still plan as if people are going to attend the advertised Thursday event in case people show up.
“We’ll prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” he said. “Now, I don’t think anything’s going to come of it. If she cancels it, there still may be some people that come up to it to demonstrate, so we’ll be prepared for it.”
The rumored protest had conflicting run times on the Facebook page.
One post Monday afternoon said it would start at 2 p.m. at Central Park across from Blue Bell and run until 4 p.m., while a graphic advertising the protest advertised it would run from 2-5 p.m.
A separate post was made to the Black Lives Matter Sylacauga Facebook page in the early-morning hours Monday -- a guide advising those participating how to safely prepare for a protest.
Bradford said she wanted to avoid any confusion regarding the two advertised protests.
“I’m worried about that because I don’t really know what their (Black Lives Matter Sylacauga) message is going to be or what they’re trying to do, but we want everything to be peaceful,” she said. “I let it be known that if I see anyone that doesn’t have a peaceful mindset about it when we start, then I’m going to ask them to leave because I don’t want to represent anything other than just a peaceful protest.”