Montgomery County Police officers don't expect trouble from abortion protestors who have planned a week of rallies in Germantown, starting Saturday.
“They want to be peaceful,” said Cmd. Luther Reynolds, with Montgomery County Police Department’s 5th District.
Reynolds said he has met with the leaders of the anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights groups who have planned concurrent rallies between Saturday, July 30, and Sunday, Aug. 7.
The protests culminate at the office of Dr. Leroy Carhart, who performs late-term abortions in Germantown.
Operation Rescue and Maryland Coalition for Life plan to launch the Summer of Mercy 2.0. Pro-abortion rights supporters. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has planned the Summer of Celebration of Choice.
“I have a lot of reason to believe they’ll be good to their word,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said he did not think the Germantown protests would match the Summer of Mercy in Kansas in 1991, which resulted in 2,600 arrests.
In Germantown, police anticipate between 500 to 1,000 protesters, with the most people expected on Sunday, July 31, Monday, Aug. 1, and Sunday, Aug. 7.
Reynolds said there would be a police presence at the rallies, but he was unable to provide a specific number. He said it would be the police’s job to foster a “safe and peaceful way for people to enjoy their First Amendment rights.”
“We have developed a positive relationship with both sides,” Reynolds said.
Separate grassy areas have been designated to accommodate anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights groups, Reynolds said.
Protesters are not allowed to block streets or sidewalks, Reynolds said.