Lawrence police say 1 arrested in largely peaceful flag protest

Lawrence police report that one arrest was made and one citation issued in what they described as a “largely non-violent” protest Saturday in downtown Lawrence.

The protest by a “Defend the Flag” group — some of them carried Confederate flags down Massachusetts Street — was reportedly in response to a “Drag the Flag” protest that had allegedly been scheduled for late Saturday morning. The “Drag the Flag” event was to protest a variety of perceived injustices by dragging the American flag on the ground. However, the “Drag the Flag” event never occurred, police said. And it was never clear who the organizers of that event were or whether it was even intended to be a real event.

Dozens of counterprotesters in the “Defend the Flag” group nevertheless marched in Lawrence. Police, on Twitter, then noted that there were also some “counter protestors to the counter protestors.”

Lawrence Police Capt. Troy Squire said there were never more than 100 protesters and counterprotesters present in downtown and were “for the most part well-behaved.”

“I’m very happy things went the way they did today considering it could have been very ugly,” Squire told the Journal-World.

Police said they monitored the event throughout the day to ensure it remained peaceful.

The one arrest that was made was related to criminal damage to property, Squire said.

Parker John Mays, 25, of Overland Park, was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage to property. Squire said Mays kicked a truck, climbed on top of the truck, fell off and kicked it again.

Mays was released from custody later Saturday, Squire said.