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Midland Mayor Payton shares strategy for handling protests

(KOSA)
Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 8:37 PM CDT
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In anticipation of protests Tuesday, both Midland County and the City of Midland closed their downtown offices.

The Midland County Courthouse and city hall remained locked and empty all day. Mayor Patrick Payton spoke with CBS7 about the decision.

“When we started hearing things related to city hall, the police department, we thought let’s just let our employees not be nervous and just stay home,” Payton said.

Payton said local leaders and law enforcement have been keeping tabs on any potential protests, and take them all seriously.

“We’re in a constant meeting mode,” Payton said. “So we’re just tracking every channel of social media, and then everybody is on radios and on the phone. It’s an open situation room quite frankly, all the time.”

The mayor said their biggest concern is protesters that aren’t from Midland, or even the Permian Basin.

“It’s not our residents in Midland and Odessa," Payton said. "It’s the out-of-town element like we see around the nation. What’s a real threat? Who’s showing up? What’s their target?"

The signs on the doors of the Midland County Courthouse said it would re-open on Wednesday.

There were rumors that Midland will be instituting a curfew, however the city said that is not true and that officials haven’t even considered it.

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