FPD Promises Custodial Arrests if More Vandalism/Assault


Note: Photo updated per legal request on July 31st at 9:10 p.m.

The Florence Police Department is aware of protests and possible counter protest that are set to occur Friday night (July 31) and Saturday (August 1). We are also aware of recent social media rhetoric which seems intent on escalating conflict between these groups. Let these points be very clear: Speech is protected by the First Amendment. Peaceful protests are protected by the First Amendment. However, disorderly, threatening, and/or violent behavior of any sort is NOT protected, it is criminal. The Police Department and Sheriffs Department are working closely together to ensure this weekends events remain peaceful. We stand ready to make custodial arrests of any individual involved in criminal activity. Also, be aware that NO megaphones, microphones, speakers, nor any other sound amplification devices will be permitted. Consider this your warning.

We certainly support those who wish to go out and exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. However, we will not permit criminal behavior to compromise anyone’s public safety. We strongly urge those who attend to abide by Governor Ivey’s Order to socially distance and wear a mask. If you intend to participate in the protests this weekend in Florence, make yourself aware of the following criminal codes that we will be actively enforcing and don't forget to share this post.

State Disorderly Conduct (13A-11-7), Menacing (13A-6-23), and Inciting a Riot laws (13a-11-4). A link to all three of these can be viewed below. Again, if you choose to go out and express your view, we ask that you be respectful of each other and know that criminal activity will not be permitted nor tolerated.

Disorderly Conduct (13A-11 -7): http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/…/codeofalabama/197…
Menacing (13A-6-23): http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/…/codeofalabama/197…
Inciting a Riot (13a-11-4): http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/…/codeofalabama/197…

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31 Jul 2020

By Press Release