CLICK HERE FOR AN UPDATED STORY – TOMS RIVER POLICE MARCH WITH THE PEACEFUL PROTESTERS
OCEAN COUNTY – Social media was abuzz on Monday afternoon after it was announced that protests would be scheduled for Toms River and Lakewood this week after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
According to a number of Facebook pages, organized protests have been scheduled for Toms River on June 2 and Lakewood on June 6.
Toms River Police issued a statement on their Facebook page which prompted several businesses to board up their properties in the Downtown Toms River area as a precaution.
The statement read: “we have received information about possible protests and/or gatherings in Toms River on Tuesday June 2nd. We are preparing for potential gatherings and to handle any situation that may arise. It is our priority to maintain the safety of our entire community while allowing a peaceful demonstration,” the Toms River Police Department wrote. “Over the years we have built an amazing relationship with our community. We stand with you together.”
Lakewood Police Captain Gregory Staffordsmith sent a press release to local media outlets that read “we have received information about a possible protest and/or gathering in Lakewood on Saturday, June 6, 2020. As a result, we are preparing with the help of our community liaisons, so that we can handle any situation that may arise. It is our priority to maintain the safety of the community we serve, while allowing and respecting the right to a peaceful demonstration. We ask that you keep all of those affected by the events in Minnesota and around the Country, in your thoughts and prayers.”
There was a Facebook post that had mentioned the possibility of violence and local authorities are taking no chances. Extra patrols will be in place as a precaution.
On Monday night, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer released a statement: “We are expecting a peaceful protest/gathering tomorrow June 2, 2020, in Toms River. We stand in solidarity with those that wish to protest peacefully. We are aware of rumors circulating on social media regarding this protest/gathering and there is no evidence at this time to support those rumors. In collaboration with our law enforcement partners, we will be ready handle any situation that may arise.”