SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Violent protests have erupted across the nation, but over the past three nights, peaceful protests have been held in downtown Tyler with residents asking for change.
In an exclusive interview with Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith, he says officials want to keep it that way.
“We will do our best to allow everybody to peacefully protest, everybody has a right to do that. A lot of people are angry. Law enforcement officers, believe it or not, are angry about what they saw happen. I don’t think you would see that here,” said Sheriff Smith.
The Tyler Chapter of the NAACP has worked closely with the Sheriff’s Office and commended their effort to work with those in the black community to promote unity and equality.
“We work tirelessly with the Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Larry Smith,” said Cedrick Granberry, president of NAACP in Tyler.
“We appreciate the relationship we have with the NAACP and Cedrick. Cedrick and I have an open dialogue. The main thing is to be open and transparent,” said Sheriff Smith.
Over three nights, the only destructive acts were protestors blocking traffic of Broadway. That was until others asked them to stop and Tyler Police blocked off several roads to allow for safe travels and peaceful protests.