HOOVER, Ala. — For the first time since protests started in Hoover a couple of weeks ago, people have been injured.
Two security guards were hurt Thursday night at Hoover's Ross Bridge Resort.
The protesters promise to continue to show up at locations throughout the city until ALEA releases the video of an officer-involved shooting that happened at Riverchase Galleria Thanksgiving night.
City Administrator Allan Rice says Hoover’s protest plan is now changing.
“Certainly the police department will modify its plan,” he said. “That’s been the case all along. Their plan is flexible and has changed based on the number of protesters and their tactics and techniques and their behavior.”
Rice estimates 80 protesters were involved at the Ross Bridge demonstration.
“We’ve been honoring the First Amendment protections we all have, that is the right to peacefully assemble,” he said. “And last night, that was not peaceful and people were hurt and that is not protected by the First Amendment and that is not conduct our community expects, and that’s not something we’re going to be able to allow to happen.”
Rice says reports indicate one hotel guard injured his knee, and another hurt his arm. Both were injured while on the job, on private property.
He says trespassing charges are possible.
“It was reported to us the first injury occurred when the security guard was trying to bar them from entering the hotel at the main front doors. [He] told them repeatedly, 'Uou cannot enter the hotel',” Rice explained. “We do not want you protesting on our property. Apparently, according to the reports received, they chose to ignore that and pushed their way in, and that’s when the gentleman was injured.”
Rice says police reports were filed.
“Because these events weren’t witnessed by a police officer, they weren’t able to make an arrest at the moment,” he said. “That requires the victim go in and swear out warrants.”
People who live in Hoover have mixed opinions on these protests.
John Kirlin says Thursday's injuries change his perspective.
“I think folks can go out and certainly have a peaceful protest and voice their opinion about things, but I don’t think it accomplishes anything when it turns to violence,” he told us.
Ross Bridge issued a statement reading, “We can confirm that two associates were injured last evening during the protest. The safety and security of our guests and associates is always a top priority. As this is an active matter, it would be inappropriate to comment further. Please direct additional questions to the Hoover Police Department.”