Jackson Bailes

The city of Charleston has dropped charges against 27 protesters arrested on May 31 near Marion Square. All protesters who had their charges dropped were “non-violent” offenders, according to city spokesman Jack O’Toole.

Arrests made May 31 have been under scrutiny by the American Civil Liberties Union, which said the use of force by police was “troubling.” A day before, a protest was held downtown in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. That night, a riot downtown left many King Street storefronts damaged.

At least 35 people were booked May 31 for disobeying lawful order. The use of tear gas and pepper balls against protesters peacefully congregating in public and the use of the crowd control munitions on civilians not protesting the same day in Eastside has also drawn criticism from civil rights groups.

The majority of charges filed against the 27 protesters were for curfew violations or failure to disperse, O’Toole said.