Event advertised as "peaceful and friendly"
COOS BAY — On Saturday Aug. 8, there is a Black Lives Matter/Black Joy Oregon event scheduled to occur on the Coos Bay Boardwalk. The Coos Bay Police Department has received numerous inquiries, questions and concerns pertaining to this event, according to Police Chief Gary McCullough.
"The Coos Bay Police Department has been closely monitoring this and at this time there is nothing to suggest that the event is anything other than what it has been advertised ... a peaceful, friendly event," McCullough wrote in a press release.
The Coos Bay Safer As One Facebook page invites people to "Come join us as we fight for policy change in Coos Bay, Oregon. The current political climate of our country has only highlighted the lack of diversity, inclusion, and support of the black, brown and indigenous people established in Coos Bay.
"We are coming together to show our local officials that we need them to mandate the use of police body cams, to bring justice to the victims of hate crimes and to reopen the case of Saraya Rees. Bring your whistles, signs and noise makers! We will not be silenced anymore!"
The event, organized by Jay Brown, Julianne Ashley Jackson and three others will begin at noon on the Coos Bay Boardwalk. The group plans to march to the Coos Bay City Hall building where there will be speakers, then will march back to the original location by 4:30 p.m., according to the social media invitation.
"Please wear comfy clothing/shoes. Bring a smile. This event is 100% peaceful and educational. Feel free to bring the entire family down to March," reads the invitation.
McCullough said the Coos Bay Police Department is asking that all participants respect everyone's First Amendment rights to free speech and to assemble peacefully, and to respect everyone's property, whether personal or business.
"The Coos Bay Police Department will have a presence at the event," stated McCullough. "Should any issues arise, the Coos Bay Police Department will address and deal the individuals or groups responsible. The Coos Bay Police Department is not asking for outside assistance from citizens or groups to assist them."