Last updated: August 20. 2014 11:51AM - 2237 Views
By Pat Pratt ppratt@civitasmedia.com

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Members of the community plan to host a protest walk at 6 p.m. Sunday on Ohio Avenue beginning near the train station to voice opposition to recent events in Ferguson and the police shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown.

While local chapter NAACP President Rhonda Chalfant said the group is not sponsoring the event, several members will be taking part in the demonstration.

“The NAACP is not involved, but certainly members of the NAACP will be participating. But it is not being organized by the NAACP,” Chalfant said.

Chaflant said the shooting and the recent events in Ferguson personally appall her.

“I am appalled by the shooting. I am appalled by the looting that took place. I think the people of Ferguson have every right to be angry. Our country exists on due process of law. That’s guaranteed in our constitution. When the police shoot someone who is unarmed and in the process of surrendering, they (police) violate that aspect of the constitution,” she said.

Sedalia Police Chief John DeGonia said he is assuming the event will be a peaceful one and the department does not plan to take any additional security measures.

“We are assuming at this point it will be a peaceful protest and people have the right to do that,” DeGonia said. “As long as it is peaceful, we are not going to take any action. As long as it doesn’t infringe on other people’s rights or property being destroyed or anything like that.”

The chief said he fully supports the right to assemble. In regards to the situation in Ferguson, he said he hopes the public will have the patience to wait until the investigation is complete.

“Everybody has the right to have their say and to conduct a peaceful protest, but in my opinion I believe the best course of action would be for all the facts to come out,” DeGonia said. “Wait for all the facts to come out and if you want to engage in peaceful protest that is your right.”

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