LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber answered many of the questions at Wednesday’s media briefing on security preparations for Saturday’s Parc Sans Souci protest.
The sheriff explained his office is preparing as they would for any other event.
The paramilitary organization, NFAC will be protesting downtown.
“I would hate for someone to come into town and have intentions of simply monitoring what’s going on; as I heard from different people and organizations or to come and be on the peripheral of it and find themselves afoul of the law,” Sheriff Garber explained.
Garber says gun-free zones will be identified with posted signs and says concealed weapons will not be allowed around the parade route.
He says anyone in violation will be dealt with accordingly.
“We’re not looking to make arrests, but we will not tolerate violations of the law.”
Garber would not reveal the expected crowd size, but admits NFAC has relayed how many people they’re bringing.
He says the wild card is not knowing who else plans to show up, and for what reason.
“We have a different self-proclaimed malitia faction who said that they intend to have a presence here. We don’t know what that is going to look like until it happens,” Garber noted.
Mayor-President Josh Guillory said the leader of the organization proactively reached out to LCG officials.
Guillory says that’s when a permit was brought up.
“They requested it. There’s no reason to deny it and they were issued it,” Guillory stated.
The NFAC protest follows U.S. Congressman Clay Higgins’ Facebook posts where he signaled a willingness to take action against anyone he sees as a threat to Louisiana.
Reportedly, NFAC has taken offense to the post of people bearing arms.
“We are planning for every reasonable contingency based on actionable intelligence that we are picking-up; so that we can protect the protesters as well as people on the parade route,” Garber noted.