FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Frederick Police are investigating multiple reports of property damage after an anti-police rally held in downtown on Friday night.
At around 6:30 p.m., 30 protesters gathered in Baker Park for an “Abolish the Police” rally held by the Frederick Socialists before marching through downtown Frederick.
According to a police report, flags were set on fire, a vehicle was vandalized, and a house was spray-painted with anti-police sentiment.
FPD released a written statement reading:
“Rather than risk escalating the situation in the heat of the moment, we work to identify suspects and file criminal charges after an event ends and there is no longer a threat to public safety. If we observe a protester engage in assaultive behavior or causing serious property damage, we will take immediate action. It is a constant balancing act, and one we do not take lightly.”
Chief Jason Lando responded to the anti-police graffiti in a statement reading:
“The Frederick Police Department is committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of every member of our community, even when those same people call for the police to be abolished. Most groups protest peacefully and have the respect and support of the Frederick community. Unfortunately, other groups choose to make threats and damage property in an effort to get their message across. We remind those individuals that graffiti and similar forms of vandalism are illegal and are not considered protected speech. FPD will investigate these crimes and bring criminal charges whenever possible.
The protest lasted approximately two hours and according to an FPD press release, officers did not use any force throughout the entirety of the protest. Police stated one person was detained but no arrests were made.