S.C. Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill to remove the Confederate battle flag off of State Capitol grounds on Thursday. Hours after Gov. Haley signed the bill, the Columbia City Council passed an ordinance temporarily banning weapons within a 250-foot perimeter surrounding the South Carolina State House grounds in an emergency meeting.
As reported previously by Truth In Media, a fight broke out during a protest at the State capitol grounds last week, but no threats have been made since then. So why is there a temporary ban?
According to the Free-Times.com, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said the emergency ordinance is not in response to any information or intelligence specifically in connection with Friday’s flag removal ceremony.
“No specific intelligence or information, we are just exercising prudence and caution,” Holbrook says. “Our goal is to have peaceful, lawful assembly. This helps us facilitate and make sure everybody is safe.”
“During this period of extraordinary circumstances that have arisen, the City of Columbia believes it is in the best interest of public safety, free speech and freedom of peacable assembly to temporarily extend the existing ban of weapons as enacted by the General Assembly within 250 feet of the borders of the Capitol Complex,” the ordinance reads.
Violators will be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $500 or sent to jail for up to thirty days if caught with a weapon.
Truth In Media will be covering the flag removal ceremony on Friday.
At 10am, the Confederate Flag came down from the State capitol memorial.
— Audrina Bigos (@AudrinaBigos) July 10, 2015