By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Peaceful demonstrations are planned in Prineville tomorrow.
City officials say they have been actively speaking with organizers to ensure everyone’s safety.
The third Black Lives Matter demonstration is scheduled to take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday in front of the Crook County Courthouse.
No parking barricades have been set up in the street in front of the courthouse.
In an effort to keep State Highway 26 open through Prineville, the city police department says anyone who steps into the highway will be subject to arrest for disorderly conduct.
They are cautioning people to stay on public property and not access or damage private property.
Police are reminding protestors, counter-protesters, and onlookers to wear face coverings if they can not maintain adequate social distancing.
“I’ve heard all kinds of stuff about what’s going to happen and I hope nothing bad happens,” said Prineville resident Brett Cameron. “I don’t really understand all that stuff. I just hope everything goes well.”
Several businesses located within a block of the courthouse that are normally open on Saturday will be closed tomorrow, including the post office, which is now guarded by a chain-link fence.
According to police, the Prineville postmaster informed the U.S. Postal Service’s Portland district office of tomorrow’s demonstration and was directed to close the building.
Melanie Marlow is planning to keep her shop, Painted Hills Custom Leather, open during the demonstration.
“We are about a half a block away. I hope everybody has a good time down there and stays very peaceful and safe. I am not closing my doors. We are staying open. We are hoping for no violence,” Marlow said.
No city officials were willing to be interviewed for today’s story.
There is a statement on the City of Prineville’s Facebook page that there will be a “strong law enforcement presence at tomorrow’s event.”
There will be video recording around the event to support “criminal prosecution if criminal acts occur.”
Traffic laws will be strictly enforced in and around the event.