Marble Falls police have readied resources and contacted several area agencies to stage at key points around the city in preparation of a Black Lives Matters (BLM) protest planned for Saturday, June 13 in Johnson Park, officials said.
The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.
“Obviously, we are planning for multiple contingency plans, preparing accordingly,” Marble Falls Police Capt. Trisha Ratliff said. “There are multiple agencies that are going to assist.
“We do not anticipate anything but a peaceful protest,” she added. “We’ve been diligently working for two weeks to make sure that happens.”
On June 5, Marble Falls police assisted the protest organizers in planning after residents and business owners expressed concerns about rhetoric promoting violence and property destruction associated with BLM groups on the national level.
During the organizing meeting, Marble Falls police officials encouraged the local group, who ultimately agreed, to avoid leaving the park and forego a march on Main Street, due to safety concerns.
As plans unfolded, police revealed they began fielding hundreds of phone calls, email inquiries and visits to the department about social media threats on a personal classifieds website calling for outside agitators to disrupt the local event.
Police officials told The Highlander on June 11, they have not received “credible threats” from the Austin Regional Intelligence Center, comprised of 17 law enforcement entities who share public safety data.
“We have no confirmation on the Craigslist threats everyone has been commenting on,” Ratliff said.
A political backlash about the local protest first announced on social media surfaced as national riots and looting erupted in primarily metropolitan areas of the country.
The local group contended they, too, wanted to express their objection and bring attention to the in custody death of a black man on May 25 in Minnesota. However, the protest organizers vowed to reject calls for violence, looting and property damage.
Police shared a message for all protest attendees.
“We just ask people to be part of the solution and not part of the problem,” Ratliff said.