The City of Southlake and the Southlake Police Department are aware of and are in regular contact with the organizers of a student-led protest scheduled to take place in Town Square this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in response to the death of George Floyd.
The students have coordinated with the Police Department personnel so they understand what they can expect and, they have also been assigned a Southlake Police Officer Liaison for any questions they might have.
“The right to gather and peacefully protest is a right we support and ensure day-in and day-out,” said Assistant Police Chief Ashleigh Casey. “In each case, our goal is to maintain a peaceful environment while supporting freedom of speech and expression. In this instance, there are extra safety concerns since there are supposed to be young students involved.”
The Police Department has a strong operational plan and a commitment to maintaining order. “Southlake is considered a safe place, and we don’t want our well-meaning students negatively affected by unlawful activity,” Chief Casey added.
“We have heard from many people with differing opinions about the protest,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “First amendment rights are paramount, but safety is also a big concern, and we are doing what we can to let people know about what to expect on that day so they can make an informed decision.”
Conversations about the protest have also taken place between the City and the management of Town Square and other surrounding commercial properties.
Certain streets surrounding Family Park in the front of the square will be closed to traffic to help support a safe demonstration. Town Hall will also be closed to the public for the weekend.