Downtown Dayton prepares for peaceful protest

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As community members get ready to peacefully protest the death of George Floyd at the Federal Building Saturday afternoon, the City of Dayton is preparing to keep it safe.

“Community members have the constitutional right to do so,” Chief Richard Biehl said. “The members of the Dayton Police Department will protect this right.”

Beihl said specially trained officers will be on the scene.

“We will have an augmentation of personnel that have specific training to respond to events, to protests,” Beihl said. “So we will be ready.”

Mayor Nan Whaley said she spoke with the Better Dayton Coalition, and believes organizers will make sure voices can be heard, while keeping everyone safe.

“They have been leaders that have been in the community and know how important it is to speak our voices, but also make sure we’re protecting our community, and they value that,” Whaley said.

The Flying Pizza owner, Frank Graci said Saturday will be business as usual.

“We’re not doing anything different, we welcome anybody into our store,” Graci said.

Graci said a planned protest isn’t a concern and his store will stay open.

“The people in the City of Dayton respect us, we respect them back and we’ve never had a problem,” Graci said.

Whaley said the city expects the protests to go smoothly as the Dayton community once again joins together.

“We hope that the protests this weekend are a safe space for people to express this anger and to demand change,” Whaley said.

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