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Police & Fire

Protesters Won't Be Permitted To Enter Roadways, Hinder Traffic Under New Suffolk PD Procedures

Protesters have been blocking roadways during otherwise peaceful protests in recent weeks.
Protesters have been blocking roadways during otherwise peaceful protests in recent weeks. Photo Credit: Tyrone Floyd

New procedures are being enacted in Suffolk County for protesters who have flooded some streets and highways in recent weeks after the George Floyd killing.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart announced the new methods to help protect protesters’ rights to peacefully demonstrate.

Hart said that officials have determined that the new protocols will increase safety for both protestors and the general public.

During protests, there will now be a safe path provided for protestors to walk and congregate, while enabling a safe flow of traffic for motorists. The new protocols will also allow greater access for emergency response vehicles to navigate the protest route.

Those organizing demonstrations have been advised to contact the Suffolk County Police Department at least 24 hours in advance by calling (631) 852-6110 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. on weekdays to allow enough time to organize protests paths.

Protesters who don’t adhere to the new rules put in place could be issued a summons for impeding the flow of traffic on public roadways.

Other procedures the Suffolk County Police Department has enacted:

  • In an effort to promote the free flow of traffic on public streets and to protect motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists, individuals must refrain from congregating in the street and not disrupt traffic and endanger public safety.
  • Demonstrators may not block vehicular or pedestrian traffic and may not enter private property without the owner’s consent.
  • Demonstrators may not walk in the traffic lanes of a roadway when prohibited.
  • Pursuant to the New York State Executive Order, any individual who is older than 2 and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to do so when in a public place and unable to maintain six feet of social distance.

“The department has had a presence at more than 165 protests and remains committed to protecting the public’s First Amendment right while continuing to keep the public safe,” Hart said. “We continue to work with organizers of protests to ensure the safety of demonstrators, the public, and our officers.”

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