CASPER, Wyo. — Black buses? Paid protestors? People coming in from out of town?
Rumors are circulating around demonstrations planned in the Casper area this week, following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd died while in Police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day. An autopsy conducted on behalf of Floyd’s family found that he died of asphyxiation after Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, kneeled on his neck and back for several minutes, according to the Associated Press. Floyd’s death has inspired protests around the country, and in some cases vandalism and riots follow the protests.
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The Casper Police Department says they have been made aware of several different pieces of information circulating through social media regarding the potential for outside groups coming to Casper for a planned gathering Wednesday.
“At this time, we have investigated multiple versions of these concerns and will continue to do so; however, we do not currently have any verifiable information that outside groups of buses are coming to Casper to participate in a planned protest,” The Casper Police Department said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “Please know, your police officers remain committed to protecting the first amendment rights of our citizens during this protest. We are dedicated to the protection and safety of our entire community, every day of the year, in any circumstance.”
“We are also aware of claims and offers of citizens volunteering to potentially assist in the defense of private property and businesses themselves,” said Casper Police Department Spokesperson Rebekah Ladd. “While we share your desire to keep our City safe, we ask that you allow law enforcement the privilege of protecting you, your business, and our beloved City.”
The Casper Police Chief Keith McPheeters recently released a statement decrying the death of George Floyd, while in police custody.
A recent protest in the Casper area ended peacefully, with event organizers saying they got far more support from the community than hate.