Friday in Bozeman's Bogart Park beginning at 4 p.m., thousands are expected to gather, joining other communities across the country in a National Day of Action for Black Lives. It is an event organized by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), and sponsored by the MSU BSU (Black Student Union) and the Montana Racial Equity Project.

A similar rally this past Sunday in Bozeman attracted an estimated 2,000 people and was conducted peacefully. However, with civil unrest breaking out across the country in the wake of the in-custody death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer last week, many local residents are worried about violence happening at Friday's rally in Bozeman. There have also been many rumors circulating on social media about outside groups like Antifa coming in to cause a disturbance.

On Thursday, Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin addressed those fears by issuing the following statement:

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is receiving calls from the public about tomorrow’s event in downtown Bozeman. Last Sunday’s event was held without incident and we have no reason to believe tomorrow will be any different. Local, state, and federal law enforcement in Montana have been communicating in reference to the peaceful demonstrations that have been occurring around the state and the information being disseminated throughout social media.

There have been rumors of members of Antifa coming through Montana but at this time there is no credible information to the rumors. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with our partners throughout the state. Our main priority (as always) is the safety of our citizens.

Sheriff Brian M. Gootkin