Caught on video: Takoma Park officer seen taking down protest signs, activist intervenes

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Takoma Park officials temporarily lift ordinance of no sign posting

TAKOMA PARK, Md. (WDVM) — A video goes viral, showing interaction between an officer and an activist over signs and fliers.

It sparked the attention of residents, city officials and the mayor of Takoma Park. The video taken by an activist shows a Takoma Park police officer pulling down protest signs in light of public outcry for justice after George Floyd died at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis.

Sokka Asif posted the video on Instagram, which ended up getting over 17,000 views. Authorities say a city ordinance prohibits signs on public property, which prompted the officer to pull the signs down. Takoma Park Police Department Chief, Antonio Devaul said, “One of them called for killing officers, so one of our officers responded to remove those specific signs.” Some called the officer’s actions ‘dismissive.’

Now, after gaining the attention of thousands, Takoma Park’s mayor and police chief got wind and called for emergency action: suspending rules on sign posting. On June 2, city officials called on residents to join together in an act of solidarity by putting up signs around town calling for justice and taking anti-racist actions. “Understanding the outcry and the need from the community to express their outrage on what’s going on, the city manager has removed that ordinance, so now people can post signs wherever they want,” Chief Devaul informs us. Multiple signs have been put up around the city, as officials still encourage signs with positive messages.

The chief says he will seek more training so incidents such as these won’t happen again. Officials did not say how long the temporary ordinance will take place.

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