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Police, sheriff aware of protests downtown tonight

LOCK HAVEN — City police are aware of a counter protest to the local Black Lives Matter movement that is planned for downtown this evening.

Police Chief Kristin Smith said she wasn’t fully aware of details of the planned protest so she could not comment on it.

The BLM event does not require a permit, she confirmed, because of its location at Main and Jay streets — the same intersection as the planned counter protest.

Chief Smith said she is “monitoring the situation” and preparing accordingly.

Both city police and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department will be present in the area of the protests this evening, she also confirmed.

The chief said she had not talked to representatives of either protest as of Thursday afternoon.

The Black Lives Matter movement locally is led by city resident Destiny Urena, a 24-year-old mother of three. She has held three protests locally in reaction to the killing of African Americans by police officers in America.

According to Urena, Black Lives Matter protesters will also be present downtown on Friday night from 5-7 p.m.

Urena recently told The Express she’s simply “trying to make a positive impact in the community.”

All of the protests have been peaceful.

The counter protest is led by Andrew Powell of Woodward Township.

Powell said his event is set for 5 to 7 tonight in downtown as a “grassroots counter-protest with patriots from across the community coming together to protect small town America from being infiltrated by the Marxist movement, Black Lives Matter, who hide themselves under the flag of social justice.” He called his movement “Operation Backyard.”

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