Johnson City police and organizers prepare for Black Lives Matter rally Saturday


Johnson City, TN (WJHL) – The organizers of a “Black Lives Matter” rally here in the Tri-Cities said they want a peaceful demonstration this Saturday.

After speaking  with the organizers, they also said they’ve received threats after saying they would hold the rally.

They have also created a Facebook page for the event which will take place at the intersection of Market Street and State of Franklin Road in Johnson City.

According to the Facebook event page, more than 140 people are have said they plan to attend.

Johnson City police chief Mark Sirois said his department will be there to make sure traffic can keep moving through that busy road.

Captain Brian Rice also added police just want to make sure the group can practice their freedom of speech.

“It’s a mutually beneficial to the public and the protestors respect one another. Respect the first amendment right to protest and respect their opinion. And just generally respect each other”, said Captain Rice.

Organizers Michelle Horton and Whitney Prater said they selected West Market Street in front of Chick-Fil-A because they wanted to send a message to the restaurant chain.

They said they do not agree with Chick-Fil-A openly supporting the blue lives matter movement.

“We want to raise awareness especially with the blue lives matter campaign, which was a way to silence the black lives matter movement. That is one of the reasons that we chose to have it at Chick-Fil-A. We are not targeting that Chick-Fil-A specifically. The national Chick-Fil-A started that campaign”, Said Prater.

Michelle Horton says she’s sick of people dying at the hands of police.

Horton said, “We are saying stop executing us on the street. We have rights to due process. If we are doing something wrong, give us the opportunity to have our rights to due process.”

Horton and Prater said they have received threats on the Facebook page for the event.

They also added that if someone did approach them in a violent way, they would respond with peaceful actions and said they’re glad police plan to be at the rally for the safety of everyone involved.Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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