Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha, Chief of Police Eric Daniels and Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott issued the following joint statement Wednesday.

It has been brought to our attention that there is a planned peaceful protest organized for this Saturday, June 6 in downtown Hillsboro.

Please know that the City of Hillsboro fully supports the right to assemble and demonstrate and will stand behind any peaceful protest on public property.

The Hillsboro Police Department will have a presence at the event to ensure the safety of all participants, citizens and property owners.

Just as we have expressed through the trial of COVID-19, Hillsboro is a strong community. We will stand together, and TOGETHER we will overcome.

Note: Lynchburg resident John Keyser, who is helping to organize Saturday's event, told The Highland County Press Wednesday evening that there has been overwhelmingly positive support from the community and local businesses. 

"This is a peaceful protest," Keyser said. "This is not a direct slap in the face to local law enforcement. All people matter. In the end of the book of life, all lives matter; but this is the black lives chapter. This is locally organized without outside influence. Whether we have five people or 100, everyone is welcome."