LAKEWOOD, NJ – Downtown business owners in Lakewood Township aren’t taking any chances when it comes to Saturday’s planned peaceful Black Lives Matter rally and protest. The event is being sponsored by residents in participation with the local police department. Even though Chief of Police Greg Meyer said he doesn’t recommend any businesses to board up their windows, by nightfall on Friday, at least one dozen along Clifton Avenue have done so.
The march begins at 1p at the intersection of Clifton Avenue and 7th Avenue and continues to the town square. The rally will be finished at 3pm after a prayer vigil and attendees will be brought back to their vehicles. The Lakewood Police Department says it is working closely with the protest organizers to ensure peaceful compliance to all laws is adhered to.
“We are expecting a peaceful walk,” Meyer said. “We have not issued any permits and the event organizers have every right to assemble under the constitution, The organizers have demonstrated this will be a peaceful event. We know that some of these events have been followed by criminal activity unrelated to the event, we will not tolerate any criminal activity in our town.”
Meyer said his department is working with federal, state, county and other such resources to maintain safety during the event.
“It’s always prudent to take security measures, we’re not asking anyone to board up windows,” Meyer said. “We will have extra patrols townwide as well as many security measures in place.”
Workers at downtown businesses worked through torrential rains Friday afternoon to finish securing their businesses ahead of the rally.