KALISPELL — As protests and demonstrations around the United States continue into their second week over the death of George Floyd, the Kalispell Police Department released a statement on Wednesday afternoon asking protesters to remain peaceful, and those who disagree with the protests to be respectful.
Chief Doug Overman said in the statement on Facebook that last week the department was approached by a local Kalispell group that expressed their support for law enforcement while also expressing concern over the events happening around the U.S. The group, which wasn't given a specific name, said they will be holding a peaceful protest near Depot Park.
"The Kalispell Police Department supports their right to a peaceful assembly calling for peace and growth," Overman wrote.
Overman also said the department has received concern from citizens about potential "outside groups" that might try to cause disturbances and "agitate otherwise peaceful demonstrations." However, Overman said from the intelligence they've received, they have no direct info on any groups planning to do so in the Kalispell area.
"We are in constant communication with other law enforcement agencies in the valley and stand committed to support each other should the events be compromised by groups with ill intent." Overman wrote. "Again, all information at this time indicate the organized event is intended to be a peaceful, lawful demonstration.
He added, "The Kalispell Police Department would ask any citizen’s groups that choose to be present to recognize the rights of those gathering to express themselves peacefully. We monitor the best available intelligence and are prepared to respond to support our community. If you plan a counter demonstration or presence in the community, please do so in a separate area. It is through respectful, peaceful dialogue that we will come to the best outcomes for all of the citizens of the Flathead Valley."