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Kalamazoo police prepare for possible protests after deadly shooting near Minneapolis

Kalamazoo protest April 12 2.PNG
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Police Chief Vernon Coakley and Kalamazoo Mayor David Anderson talk with protesters in downtown Kalamazoo on April 12, 2021. (WWMT/Gabriel Balderramas)

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety prepared for possible protests in the wake of the death of a Black man outside Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop on Sunday. A protest was planned for 7:30 p.m. April 12, 2021, outside the Kalamazoo County Courthouse in response to Wright's death.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Vernon Coakley shared a video message before any protesters gathered in Kalamazoo.

In the video, Coakley said the city supports people’s First Amendment right to protest.

Following protests in Kalamazoo in 2020, the city formed the First Amendment Assembly subcommittee with public safety leadership to create a policy for protests.

Coakley said people were free to assemble in city parks, or on sidewalks without reserving the space, applying for a permit or paying a fee.

“However, demonstrating in the street or attempts to disrupt traffic will not be tolerated. KDPS will enforce this and all first amendment policies. Failure to clear the street after being asked to do so will result in a misdemeanor and a possibly arrest,” he said.

He also said all the rules were posted on the Kalamazoo city website.