“They hijacked our rally,” said NAACP president Ambrose Douzart Wednesday explaining how a rally of concerned citizens turned into a march without permits, insurance, or police protection.
Douzart said the NAACP called a rally on the steps of the police department for Saturday, May 30th, but only a few showed up. The rally was rescheduled for Sunday and nearly 400 showed up after television and social media coverage.
Douzart said because the crowd was larger than suspected, they moved the rally to the steps of the Jack Howard Theater. A number of speakers including those who had horror stories about the Monroe police spoke. There were comments about the injustice involving the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN.
He said as the rally wined down, Tyrone Dickens, known as K-9, shouted for the crowd to begin a march. Douzart said a march was not part of the NAACP’s plan.
“We didn’t have a permit. We did not have the required insurance or guarantees of police protection,” said Douzart. “We did not have a march, they hijacked our rally.”
K-9 is a paid consultant for the Jamie Mayo re-election campaign.
Douzart said about a hundred people stayed at the Civic Center discussing issues and did not participate in the march which crossed the bridge.
He said Mayor Jamie Mayo passed by “I recognized his vehicle” and the next thing you know there were police officers in riot gear.
Some in the crowd were upset that some Monroe Police officers showed up in what appeared to be riot gear. The police did not interfere with the marchers and it concluded with more speeches about injustice by police.
Some who saw police in riot gear highlighted the divide between police and the public.
On Social Media Dee White wrote that the march was too peaceful. “The People of Monroe showed up for a Peaceful Protest & #MPD showed up in their Kickass gear. Do you not see the divide? You should be marching WITH the people. I commend those who put together the March. Just wasn’t for me. Every Revolution has come through Boycott, Burning, or Bloodshed. LMK when you Ready for one of those.”
Douzart said there was another impromptu rally held in the Parkview Neighborhood led by one of the people who attended the Sunday rally. When police showed up they were showered with bricks and shouts of protest.