Morristown Police Department statement on Saturday night protest

Statement reads:

The Morristown Police Department respects the rights of all individuals to freely assemble and participate in peaceful protest, however; this morning what was billed as a peaceful protest turned to participants throwing rocks and bottles at our officers and making threats of violence.

A social media post was brought to our attention on Saturday afternoon which solicited individuals to join what was described as a peaceful protest beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday night. A crowd that eventually numbered approximately 150 assembled and marched throughout our downtown reciting phrases such as “I can’t breathe” and “no justice, no peace”.

The crowd eventually gathered at the City Center building blocking both the entrance and exit of the parking garage. Individuals attempted to incite officers in the City Center garage by shouting profanities and derogatory remarks. Officers stayed in place to protect the municipal building and vehicles parked in the garage. Protesters continued to shout profanities and threw rocks and bottles at officers. One officer was struck in the leg by a rock thrown from the crowd.

The crowd continued to display aggressive behavior and was ordered to disburse around 12:40 a.m.

One individual filed a report with the MPD alleging he had been struck in the face by a protester.

MPD Chief Roger Overholt stated, “I would like to thank all the agencies that assisted us in diffusing this situation without significant property damage or injury”.