The Rehoboth Beach Police Department made it clear Tuesday that violations of city and state orders will be addressed and is working with other law enforcement agencies and the Attorney General’s Office on planning for the widely publicized “Storm the Beach” event.
The department said the agency is planning for the event with law enforcement partners and the Attorney General’s office. The department stated that the media will be informed of a response that will allow for free speech while discouraging illegal acts.
The Cape Gazette reported today that the city will allow walks on the beach and boardwalk beginning Friday. Boardwalk businesses are still closed under the state’s emergency order. Protesters have called for businesses to open and for other acts of civil disobedience to take place.
Police issued the following statement:
“The Rehoboth Beach Police Department understands that we are in the midst of period of frustration and that our citizens and visitors want to express those frustrations. One of the primary missions of the Rehoboth Beach Police Department is to uphold the Constitutions of the State of Delaware and the United States of America to include the right of its citizens to exercise free speech. Our agency, in unison with our partners in law enforcement, will take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance, as well as, compliance with local and state laws and the Executive Orders of the Governor and Mayor of Rehoboth Beach. If necessary, compliance will be assured through various means from a verbal warning, to the issuance a civil violation, to a full-custody criminal arrest determined by the actions of the violator.”
The statement continued, “We ask that those who plan to attend the event take advantage of their right to speak in an orderly manner compliant with local and state laws and not detract from their opportunity to deliver a clear message by participating in act of disobedience open for interpretation”
The statement asks that people attending the event to observe social distancing and the use of face masks.
“We believe a show of courtesy towards each other, regardless of the issues at hand, is a strong display of public accountability for all to see,” the department stated.