No Permit Issued for Saturday’s Traffic ‘Jamming’ Kennewick Protest
In response to numerous inquiries from readers, listeners and citizens in the community about the large protest that occurred Saturday in front of Winco Foods in Kennewick, we looked into it.
A recurring thread that was mentioned was why did the City issue a permit for an event that was not considered an 'ideal' staging area for a large crowd? It's 'guestimated' anywhere from 6-700 persons gathered for a George Floyd-Black Lives Matter civil rights protest. At it's maximum it's possible the number grew to perhaps 800.
The majority of the persons lined up on the north, or Winco side of Clearwater, but a number of persons were also on the south side as well.
Several times dozens protesters crossed the street, then around 1PM dozens of them lined up on the yellow centerline of Clearwater. Several dozen others laid down in the left-hand turn lanes, blocking one of the two access points to the store. Video from KAPP-KVEW TV on Facebook showed numerous cars having to slow to a crawl to navigate the area.
According to a public access records request, no permit for the event was filed for and none was granted. From the City, Monday, via email in response to our inquiry:
"...a permit was not submitted; therefore, there are no documents responsive to your request."
Kennewick Municipal Code Chapter 6:49 sections 030, 040 and 050 clearly state that permits are required to engage in such activity:
"Demonstration means the public gathering of 25 or more people for the purpose of a public display or the redressing of grievances."
It goes onto say:
"No parade or demonstration shall be held upon any public way or place without a permit having been obtained by the organizers thereof."
The City confirmed that no such permits were sought or obtained, therefore, according to city requirements the protest/gathering/event was illegal.