Although they had never received a permit to demonstrate, more than 100 citizens followed written statute and marched in groups of four on Monday evening in memory of an Oil City woman slain by Oil City police officers last week, and in support of her family members.
For about 90 minutes, the sign-carrying groups marched silently near Oil City Hall. They ended their demonstration when the mayor’s office pointed out that some of the groups were consolidating, and thus violating an ordinance regarding the size of groups gathering without a permit.
The group reportedly intends to approach City Council during a meeting on Thursday to try to obtain such a permit.
Organizers insist they are not protesting the policies of the Oil City Police Department. Still, they also are demanding that the Oil City Police force be better trained in dealing with individuals with both physical and mental disabilities.
Three Oil City Police Department officers have been placed on administrative duty after the shooting death of 68 year-old Marilyn Peterson during a response to her home on Central Avenue last Tuesday night. The department says Peterson was shot in the side after she threatened both them and herself with a knife. Peterson was legally blind, physically handicapped and reportedly had dealt for years with mental health issues.