• 70°

Editorial: Laurels for police, peace keepers, good citizens

In a chaotic moment on Sunday, there were plenty of laurels to go around for keeping things from escalating.

When shots were fired into the air, things could have gone wrong fast. That did not happen, and the man witnesses said was responsible was quickly taken into custody. Protests remained loud and peaceful. The protest site was free of leftover paper and plastic by morning.

Here are a few laurels worth noting.

Laurel to the Salisbury Police Department and other law enforcement agencies for responding quickly as protesters marched through downtown and to the intersection of Arlington and Innes streets on Sunday.

From our TV, computer and smartphone screens, Salisbury has watched as law enforcement’s reaction has escalated a situation that might have otherwise remained without major incident. In Salisbury, police let protestors say their piece and march around the city. Sheriff’s deputies blocked traffic as protesters made a loop through downtown.

The response was also quick, which also helped. At least a dozen police cruisers responded to the scene within a couple minutes. Police officers already were nearby to detain a man accused of firing shots in the air when tensions escalated.

There should be questions raised, though, about whether men suspected of simply possessing a concealed handgun should have been made to lay on the ground as police searched them.

But, perhaps more importantly, things remained relatively calm because of a number of people at the scene of the protest who reminded protesters to remain peaceful and stay on the sidewalk. None of them organized the event, but they deserve laurels for their leadership afterward. Gemale Black, Anthony Smith, Marcus Fairley, Ash Love and a number of others prevented confrontations from escalating as protesters walked to different locations.

Systemic change is possible through peaceful and/or nonviolent protests, unrelenting advocacy and mobilizing voters to the ballot box. There was change in Salisbury, for example, after local groups spoke up when police shot and killed Ferguson Laurent while serving a no-knock warrant in 2016.

It’s not currently possible to show up en masse to Salisbury City Council meetings and demand change during public comment periods, but there are other methods of advocacy to which local elected officials will pay attention. Peaceful or nonviolent protests can be one of those methods.

Finally, laurel to the people who cleaned up the site of the protest Sunday evening or early Monday. As the crowd dispersed, there were water bottles, plastic wrappers, paper and other debris on the sidewalk and blowing in the wind.

By sunrise, that debris was in a trash can on the sidewalk. And the streetscape was clean.

Comments

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31