Sheriff urges peace before rally to remove Confederate monument

Springwood Cemetery
Springwood Cemetery (From: Google Maps)

GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Sheriff Will Lewis has released a statement regarding a rally to take down a Confederate statue planned for Saturday in downtown Greenville.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the “Take It Down Peace Rally.” Our responsibility, at this point, is solely to support the Greenville City Police Department in their efforts to maintain the order of law within the central business district.

We will not, under any circumstances, allow violent protest. We strongly encourage and support everyone’s 1st amendment rights; however, the violence and property damage demonstrated in recent protests are not protected under the 1st amendment. We pray for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing events and ask everyone to be respectful of opposing opinions.

The rally is being organized by Fighting Injustice Together and will begin at 1:00pm at the Springwood Cemetery.

The group says they are going to use the rally to peacefully ask government officials to remove Confederate monument.

Greenville Police say they will be monitoring the protest and are asking the public to avoid the area during the protest unless you are a participant.

Officers say they are hoping for a peaceful protest and they will be enforcing picketing ordinances and state laws.