Cherry Hill Police Chief Invites Protesters To Meet With Officers

Police Chief William Monaghan is inviting protesters who are planning to march Friday to come to a barbecue with officers afterward.

Cherry Hill Police Chief William Monaghan wants a protest that is being planned for Cherry Hill Friday afternoon to serve as a moment for positive change.

Monaghan is inviting the protesters to stick around afterward and meet with the department’s officers, who he said will grill food and serve water.

“Please let us assist you in voicing the need for change,” Monaghan said in a statement on social media. “All are invited to remain at the police station after the protest is over to meet and speak with our officers.”

The protest is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. It is set to begin at Maria Barnaby Greenwalk and conclude at the police station. It is one of several protests that have taken place across the country after a white Minneapolis police officer allegedly killed Floyd, a black man, by standing on his neck for more than eight minutes last week.

While some protests have been muddied by violence by separate groups of people rioting and looting, most of the protests in New Jersey have been peaceful. This includes a weekend protest in which Camden County Police Chief Joe Wysocki marched side-by-side with protesters while carrying a sign that read, “Standing in Solidarity.” Read more here: Camden Offers Picture Of Police Unity After George Floyd’s Death

“Weather permitting, Cherry Hill Police officers will grill food and serve water for anyone that wants to stay after the protest and meet with us,” Wysocki said. “Change happens one positive contact at a time. Let tonight be a positive contact, so we can start to effectuate the change that is drastically needed in our Country. I look forward to speaking with you.”

The invitation follows a statement last week in which Monaghan encouraged residents to continue partnering with law enforcement to effectuate positive change. Read more here: South Jersey Police Leaders Stress Community Trust

Earlier this week, Cherry Hill’s municipal leaders added their voices to the collective outrage that has been expressed nationwide over the police-involved killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

“The killing of George Floyd exposed deep fissures in our shared American experience. This injustice demands our attention,” Cherry Hill Mayor Susan Shin Angulo said in a statement. “We must be unwavering in our commitment to social equity, protecting the underrepresented and vulnerable, and to respect peaceful demonstrations that advance real and sustained change.”

“We cannot be silent when it comes to fighting hate and bigotry,” Cherry Hill Council President David Fleisher said. “Especially now— during the health and economic crisis— we must double our efforts.”

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