GPD Chief says rumor of Antifa protest in Griffin is unsubstantiated


Rumors speculating that an Antifa protest will occur this Friday in Griffin cannot be substantiated by local officials.

“I have no information that I could substantiate that would indicate they are,” said Griffin Police Department Chief Mike Yates.

Asked how he would address citizen concerns regarding the Antifa rumors, Yates said, “Right now, they’re only rumors so they have to make their own decisions about what they choose to do. We have yet to see a request for a permit.”

Facebook posts attributed to the account of Griffin resident Ray Harps-Muhammad have promoted a protest – the #100 Fearless Black Lives Matters Protest for Justice march – which is slated for 4 p.m. Friday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Yates said he is unaware of a request seeking a permit for that event.

“No, he has not. Unless he’s done it today and I’m not aware of it. Usually I have to sign off on those things and I haven’t heard anything from anybody,” Yates said. “Right now, it’s all speculation and other than what you hear through the rumor mill and Facebook. No official actions have been taken other than the preparation we would make just in case.”

He said the Griffin Police Department is prepared should plans for the march move forward.

“We’ll handle it the same way that we handled the protest the other day,” Yates said.

He explained that under the city of Griffin ordinance, a permit is not required if less than 30 people will be involved and that permits should be issued five days in advance of a scheduled event. However, the city manager has the authority to make an exception 24 hours in advance, he said.

City Manager Kenny Smith later confirmed that as of the close of business Tuesday, no permit had been sought.

“We certainly don’t anticipate any problems. Antifa – I don’t even know what that means. I don’t know where that (rumor) even came from,” Smith said. “If somebody has a protest downtown, whether spontaneous or planned, we’ll be prepared.”
As for the march promoted by Ray Harps-Muhammed, Smith said he is acquainted and on a first-name basis with this resident who has participated in the city of Griffin Citizen’s Government Academy and the Griffin Police Department’s Citizen’s Police Academy.

“If he leads some type of peaceful protest, I certainly wouldn’t expect anything but a peaceful protest,” Smith said. “I wouldn’t expect anything out of the ordinary from him.”

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  1. Peaceful protests are fine but no violence, looting, vandalism or road blocking can be tolerated !!

  2. thanks for all the hard work your people are doing and keeping us informed.

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