Chief Belmar defends decision to limit protesters access to county police headquarters

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(KTVI)- St. Louis County's Police Chief defends his decision to limit protestors access to county police headquarters and talks about the challenges in protecting the rights of -all- citizens.

The chief sat down to talk to FOX 2's Chris Hayes for a report Chris will bring us tonight at 10p.m.

Chief Jon Belmar pointed out that county police headquarters is probably the most public police headquarters you`ll find anywhere. Yet activists screamed about getting access last Wednesday chanting "We want in."

Chief Belmar explained that people walk in all the time - to talk to internal affairs, run a background check or get a police report - and it`s one of the few police headquarters that you can walk around without an escort.  But in this case, Belmar said his officers were faced with a difficult balancing act or protecting protestors free speech while also protecting other citizens rights, who may need to complete urgent business inside the building.

Belmar said last weeks` protest is just one of many examples where police are challenged with how far to bend.

Tonight on FOX 2 news at 10p.m., hear Chief Belmar talk about how his officer`s are doing under the pressure as he answers his decision his tactics in trying to balance protestors rights against the rights of other citizens.

This is a very candid interview you`ll see only on FOX 2 tonight at 10p.m.


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