The Drew County Quorum Court tabled a proposed ordinance requiring permits for parades and public gatherings until a future meeting, according to the Advance Monticellonian newspaper
County Judge Robert Akin had proposed the ordinance which read in part “it is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Drew County that parades and assemblies occurring on public streets, parks and other public grounds within Drew County be regulated through a permitting process.”
The newspaper reported that Akin made clear that the proposed ordinance was in response to a protest held June 4 at the Drew County Courthouse demanding answers in the murder of Marquis Martin investigation. Martin was last seen Feb. 9, 2020 at a gas station in Monticello and his body was discovered March 7 in a creek near Wilmar.
Akin cited safety concerns for jury members and county employees who work at the courthouse as the reason for closing the courthouse on the day of the protest. He also claimed credible threats were made over social media although he did admit the protest was peaceful.
In tabling the proposal, justices of the peace expressed concern about the legality of the ordinance, and the optics of the first parade or assembly that would occur if the ordinance had been passed during the meeting. Those events included the June Dinner and the Juneteenth Parade in Wilmar.
The newspaper reported that questions were also raised about the legality of the ordinance