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Madison County Sheriff releases statement about protests

MADISON COUNTY – While violent protests have erupted throughout the nation, the Huntsville-Madison area has remained relatively calm and peaceful.

An incident did escalate briefly Monday evening as law enforcement tried to disperse a crowd gathered near the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville after a demonstration. Huntsville Police said they dispersed two smoke canisters to “keep people moving” when the crowd stopped and started to get confrontational.

There have been no reports of incidents in Madison.

Protestors have been holding demonstrations in response to the killing of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota while he was handcuffed and lying face down on a city street during an arrest. Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, kept his knee on the right side of Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; according to the criminal complaint against Chauvin.

Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner said his department is monitoring the situations here and around the country.

“In addition to sharing information with other agencies, the Sheriff’s Office prepares and maintains operational event plans for numerous types of events including severe weather, pandemics, and civil unrest,” a statement from the Sheriff’s office said Monday. “The goal for event planning is to ensure that the necessary resources including manpower and equipment are available and ready for use when needed.”

The Sheriff’s Office said they will continue to monitor the events around the country and ensure everyone’s right to freely speak is protected, while at the same time working vigorously to ensure the safety and security of all Madison County residents and their property.

“We live in a great diverse community that seems to always find ways to have constructive conversations,” Sheriff Turner said. “As the county’s chief law enforcement officer, I look forward to seeing that continue. To the citizens of Madison County, know that the men and women of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office are working hard to make sure this remains a peaceful community and a great place to live and raise a family. Not only because it is what we have sworn to do, but because we are members of this community also.”

The NAACP is reportedly sponsoring another protest event on Wednesday in Huntsville.

 

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