Police chief tells people who plan to protest in downtown on Sunday to leave their weapons at home

Police chief tells people who plan to protest in downtown on Sunday to leave their weapons at home

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston’s police chief on Wednesday asked anyone who plans to attend a protest at Charleston’s Battery to leave their weapons at home.

Police are keeping tabs on reported dueling protests that reportedly will be held. On just about every Sunday for the past five years, members of Flags Across the South have met at the Confederate monument at White Point Garden holding Confederate flags.

Last Sunday one of the members was arrested after Charleston police say he hit an anti-flag protester with a flag pole.

Several posts on social media hinted that both pro and anti-flag protesters might show up Sunday armed with weapons. That prompted the police department to send out a news release warning that officers will enforce a law that prohibits anyone from threatening someone with a weapon.

”Here’s the reality. We don’t need people to have weapons in a protest event on opposite sides. We’re just following a riot I don’t think we had in 100 years following conflict that we had just this past weekend,” Chief Luther Reynolds said.

We reached out to the president of Flags Across the South for a comment.

Braxton Spivey said his group welcomes an increased police presence on Sunday. Spivey said his members are concerned every time they are on the Battery.

Tamika Gadsden of the Charleston Activist Network said she also hopes the police presence will help keep the peace.

”I feel this is a moment that I’m finally relieved that law enforcement is paying attention to those on the right, the far right who have been very active on the scene here in Charleston,” Gadsden said.

Reynolds said his officers will be ready for the protesters.

”We want to make sure that people are safe, that’s our goal,” he said.

Reynolds said those who violate the weapon brandishing law could face arrest.

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