CANONSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — A protest is planned for one of the area’s biggest Fourth of July events.
Participants are pulling out of the annual Canonsburg Fourth of July Parade, fearing the planned protest.
“We’re going to shut it down,” Trey Willis Sr. said on his Facebook Live video discussing the protest.
Willis Sr. told KDKA that the demonstration will remain peaceful, but protesters want their voices heard. He expects 100-200 people will join him in protest on the morning of the parade.
“We’re intending to just shed light on the practices coming out of the district attorney’s office,” Willis Sr. said. “The failure to represent certain victims of violent crimes that come from a certain demographic.”
Willis Sr. would not offer specifics on how he plans to shut the parade down.
“That’s something that the public will just have to wait and see,” Willis said. “We have to be strategic in our movement. But yeah, we definitely intend to disrupt the parade and get our voices heard.”
Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone responded to Willis’ accusations regarding his office’s alleged practices involving minority suspects and victims.
“It’s personally offensive to me and repugnant to me and everything I believe for someone to believe we would make these decisions based on race,” Vittone said.
Vittone said Willis’ accusations and basis for the protest is likely due to his own recent brush with the law.
“I can tell you the individual just completed a sentence of 4-10 years for a very serious violent crime,” Vittone said. “He was convicted of aggravated assault and robbery. So obviously he doesn’t care for my office very much.”
The Canonsburg Police Department posted on Facebook saying that they are aware of the planned demonstration and are planning diligently.
Willis said he plans to meet with the police chief on Wednesday.