Protesters Now Banned From Inside Champaign Cty Courthouse
Protests will no longer be allowed inside the Champaign County Courthouse or sheriff’s office. County Sheriff Dan Walsh’s announcement comes just days after part of a group had to be removed from the courthouse by sheriff’s deputies.
He says anyone wanting to hold a rally, vigil, or similar event is still welcome outside, on the courthouse plaza, as long they stay 10 feet from the front door. Walsh says the courthouse is intended for a specific purpose, and events like Friday’s disrupted business.
“We had what seemed like two groups of protesters - one were intent on causing disruptions," he said. "The others were intent on quietly getting their point across to the public. So I think the simple thing – and it is constitutional, we just won’t allow it in the courthouse. Everyone is welcome to use the plaza.”
Friday’s protest was in response to Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz’s decision not to file charges against Champaign Police Officer Matt Rush, the subject of a number of excessive force complaints.
Banners, posters, and bullhorns are also now banned from inside the courthouse.