Despite wild rumors, El Dorado remains quiet

Charles Chaney
The Butler County Courthouse, which was home to a very uneventful night despite the rumors running rampant on Wednesday, June 3 in El Dorado, Kansas.

Approximately 12 people showed up at the Butler County Courthouse on Wednesday night… for some candy.

Despite rumors of mass looting and rioting that was said to be headed down HWY-254 and into El Dorado, none of it happened. The city remained quiet and the adjourning cities mirrored the silence.

That did not stop many from taking to social media, in fear of what could happen to their town.

The rumors started just after 12 p.m., how a bus full of protesters were coming from Wichita. They were going to go through Bel Aire, Park City, Benton and into El Dorado. Those areas remained relatively calm as night fall hit.

Valley Center and other cities put up barricades around their courthouse. El Dorado Police Department went to local businesses and letting them know of said threat, giving the businesses them the choice to close up shop or stay open for the night.

Local law enforcement told the Butler County Times-Gazette while they did not consider any threat credible, they were preparing for the worst; “It is easier to over prepare and nothing happen than to be caught off guard.”

The City of El Dorado put out an official statement saying they were fully aware of the threats and they were taking proactive measures to keep everyone safe.

Some, such as Dairy Queen and Brew Co. shut down early, sending people home early to avoid the potential threat. Others, such as Gambino’s Pizza stayed open but put up plywood on their windows.

Gambino’s when reached why they put up the plywood based on rumor, had solid answer: “You never know.”

As rioting, looting and protesting has captivated our nation, the city of Wichita has dealt with a bit of all three in the last 24 hours. Multiple places were broken into on Tuesday night. There were some people who shot off bottle rockets at armed officers at 21st and Arkansas, where the QuikTrip was looted.

The protest at 21st and Maize was peaceful. The organizers sent everyone home at 9 p.m. and then others who stayed behind, disobeying orders caused the police to get into formation, leading to arrests.

Peaceful protests have taken place in the area, as two were done on Saturday in Wichita. One downtown at Century II and one at the East 21st Police sub-station.

No one outside of myself went to the courthouse. Three police officers from El Dorado PD showed up about 7:30 p.m. to hand out candy after they made a Facebook post. A couple of families showed up and four priests from churches within the city.

In the end, it was three officers, four priests and a journalist who showed up at the courthouse.

There were no droves of people looting El Dorado High School. There was not a crowd of protesters taking over the movie theater parking lot. There was no after dark looting that took place.

The amount of misinformation fueled the fear of those within El Dorado and Butler County.

A group of local ministers led two people who came for candy and the three police officers in prayers on Wednesday, June 3 in El Dorado, Kansas. Everyone left after this, leaving no one at the Butler County Times-Gazette.