FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Day two of the Marion County protest continued Sunday afternoon in Fairmont in response to police brutality and the loss of African American lives across the country.
Protesters gathered at the Marion County Courthouse then walked to the end of the Million Dollar Bridge.
“We all started and blocked this exit right here and then I started yelling to block the entire intersection, the four way because no traffic no business, Hydia George, protest organizer.
While protesters blocked the four way during the protest Fairmont police explained a confrontation took place between one of the protesters and an officer. Officers used non-lethal force by using pepper spray to defuse the situation where two people were detained but later released.
“We attempted to do crowd control, take care of the problem, make sure they were safe and were able to march and they were able to be heard,” described Fairmont Police Chief Steve Shine.
With protests taking place throughout the United States, Chief Shine explained he supports peaceful protesting and does not condone the actions of unjust police officers.
“I really understand why there is so much hatred towards the officers that are out here”, said Chief Shine. “I do not want it to reflect on my profession as a whole, I know that the officers that come out to serve the community are honorable people and we screw up,” said Shine. “We really do there is no way around it, we make mistakes and some officers are bad but as a whole it hurts my heart to see misdirected frustration at people that weren’t involved in what happened out there.”
Protesters explained their purpose of gathering together in unity was for the lives lost from police violence.
“Everybody stand up and say something,” stated Leo Jones. “We not going to gain no more traction, we need more voices and more people who feel the same about what we are going through, you might not have been through what we are going through but you understand, you see why we are out here, there’s a reason for this.”
Officials and community members are working to organize more peaceful protest in the area.