SHELBY — A Shelby man captured on video yelling racist comments at a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Shelby on June 10 has been cited for disorderly conduct.
Gregory S. Dick, 60, was served with a court summons Wednesday after yelling, "This is a KKK town brother, get your black asses out of here," to a group of permitted civil rights protesters walking on East Main Street.
Dick can be heard yelling the statements in a Facebook video recorded by protester Kristi Mitchell on June 10 that has been viewed more than 11,000 times. The comments can be heard near the one-minute mark of the video:
The charge of disorderly conduct states, "no person shall recklessly cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to another by doing any of the following: making unreasonable noise or an offensively coarse utterance, gesture or display, or communicating unwarranted and grossly abusive language to any person; insulting, taunting or challenging another, under circumstances in which that conduct is likely to provoke a violent response."
Dick is scheduled to appear in Shelby Municipal Court on Monday at 9 a.m. He may also choose to waive the hearing by paying a $135 fine for the minor misdemeanor.
Shelby Police Chief Lance Combs prepared the incident report and served Dick the summons, accompanied by Capt. Dave Mack. An investigative report written by Combs stated Dick told the officers he did not agree with the summons.
Combs declined to comment on an open court case. Shelby Law Director Gordon Eyster also declined comment.
The incident prompted a response from Shelby Mayor Steve Schag at the June 15 City Council meeting, stating that "on behalf of all law-abiding citizens of Shelby, let me state unequivocally that we collectively abhor and renounce hatred, racial bigotry and racial discrimination."
A report prepared by Combs states protest organizer Lizzy Campo contacted the police department June 6 to request a permit to stage a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest at the gazebo.
Campo also requested the police department block the intersection of Main Street and Mansfield Avenue for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer had his knee on the neck of George Floyd when he was killed in May.
"I asked her if there was a specific issue or a specific reason that she wanted to protest in Shelby, or if there was anything I could do to facilitate that discussion so that we could go over any potential issues," Combs wrote. "She indicated at that time that there were no issues, that this was just another city in Richland County that they wanted to complete a protest in."
Combs advised Campo that "so long as the group was peaceful, we would not be confronting them and that we respected their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble."
Combs and Shelby economic development coordinator Jessica Gribben visited businesses in the area to advise them of the event.
Combs also prepared a brief operational plan for the event, notified city administration and asked the Ohio State Patrol to look out for any threats or counter-protester chatter.
Approximately 50 people participated in the protest on June 10. Combs stated there were no known issues with the protest during that time. The chief said he called Campo afterwards to ask if there were any problems with the march, and she indicated everything went well.
"I then began getting reports of some type of encounter during the march between protestors and an individual in front of the Eagles," Combs said. "A short time later I was directed to a social media video taken from inside the march."
In the video, as the group chanted "Black Lives Matter" an individual can be heard yelling "KKK." When the person recording turned the camera towards the individual, Combs recognized the individual to be Gregory Dick.
Dick then said, "KKK town right here brother;" when the person recording advised he was on live, Dick responded, "Get your black asses out of here."
Combs spoke with Kristi Mitchell, who recorded the video, on June 16. She stated the group that was walking was not yelling racial slurs and was not antagonizing anyone while marching.
"She stated that she found it offensive because she has a nephew of mixed race," Combs wrote. "She stated that it upset her so much that it made her cry."
Combs also spoke with Monica Phillips, a White woman, and Damien Martinez, a Black man, who were at the protest with their children. Martinez works in Shelby and the Phillips family owns and operates businesses and property in Shelby.
"After the rally, their children asked what that man was talking about when he mentioned this as a KKK town and for Blacks to get out of town," Combs wrote.