A peaceful protest that was postponed by organizers in Fall River, took place anyway on Saturday, however, what proceeded it was not as peaceful.
According to Lieutenant Jay Huard, Fall River Police officers were assigned to the area of Lafayette Park to maintain peace among a large group that had gathered. There were approximately 100 protesters that participated in the event. The demonstration had irate protesters and officers were able to maintain peace. Officers joined the group as they marched around Lafayette Park.
At 4:30 p.m., the protest lessened and the remaining protesters remained peaceful. Police units continued to monitor the area. At 5:20 p.m., officers observed a fight and additional police units were summoned to the park. As officers began to quell the skirmish, they observed that a large group was creating a disturbance by walking in the street and sidewalk, blocking both for travel. These actions forced motorists to stop and pedestrians had to leave the sidewalk, according to police. The group of 20 individuals continued to march toward the police station. The group remained unruly and was looking to riot among other peaceful protesters.
Police stated that the group eventually marched to the area of County Street. Officers advised the protesters that were marching to stay on the sidewalk and to not march in the street, to safeguard them from vehicular traffic. Four males refused to comply and continued to march in the streets. The men were placed under arrest when it was evident that peace needed to be restored to the neighborhood.
Fall River Reporter spoke to a few of the protestors who attended the event at Lafayette Park and they stated that those who were causing trouble showed up later and they didn’t believe that they were part of the initial group that was protesting.
Police Chief Jeffrey Cardoza stated, “Today, members of the Fall River Police Department attended a peaceful demonstration at Lafayette Park. We left the park feeling proud of the relationship building that had been accomplished. We respect the right of all to peacefully assemble and protest.”
Arrested and charged with Unlawful assembly, Disorderly conduct, and Disturbing the peace were Gabriel Leite, 18, of Pictures Way, Hyannis, Valdemar Rego, 41, of Evergreen Avenue, Somerset, Dylan Alves, 21, of Waterford Circle, Dighton, and Craig Costa, 31, of Buffinton Street Fall River, MA.