30 arrested in Orlando as thousands of protesters demanded justice on Sunday, police say
ORLANDO, Fla. - On Monday afternoon, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon gave an update on the Sunday protests across the city. Demonstrators made their way through Orlando, speaking out against decades of police brutality and racism and demanding reform.
Mayor Dyer began the news conference encouraging that people speak up peacefully and reiterating that he hears the message of the protesters and stands with them. He went on to state that Orlando police officers are held to high standards, as they receive enhanced training and go through strict review after responding to resistance.
He then announced that all body camera video from the weekend of when tear gas was used will be pulled and reviewed. He has dedicated a team of people to review these records and they will be released to the public.
He wants law enforcement to continue building trust and a strong relationship with the Orlando community. He wants no divide between officers and citizens.
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Chief Rolon spoke after, going over the protests on Sunday. He acknowledged that they were mostly peaceful. Crowds of about 4,000 protesters moved through the city during the day and officers worked to keep them safe.
However, he said there were a few groups throughout the day that became violent.
As one group transitioned to the 408, bottles and rocks were thrown at officers. Gas could have been released, but Chief Rolon said that small bursts of pepper spray were used instead.
Then, later in the evening, another group moved onto an I-4 ramp and threw anything they could find -- rocks, bottles, debris -- at officers. They even took items out of construction barrels and dropped them onto the roadway below. At this point, gas was deployed.
In addition, Chief Rolon said that eight stores were broken into, including a gun store at the corner of Conroy and Kirkman.
Up to 30 arrests were said to have been made.
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Despite this, Rolon said that he is disturbed by incident in Minneapolis and denounces it, citing that "we recognize that what happened is wrong. we are totally against what we had saw. That is not how we train our officers or what we expect from our officers.”
He assured that Orlando police officers will help facilitate protester's message as long as it remains peaceful.
Dyer added that the only reason gas was deployed was that officers were being assaulted with rocks and bottles. He stated once again that he wants protesters to be able to have their voice heard but it must be done peacefully.
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Demonstrations are growing across the country as people demand justice in the name of George Floyd, who died last Monday after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck, holding him down for several minutes.
That officer, Derek Chauvin, and three other officers involved in Floyd's death have been fired from the department. Chauvin is in police custody, as he is charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other officers have yet to be charged.
Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection to the death of George Floyd. (Hennepin County Jail)
Stay with FOX 35 Orlando for continuing coverage on the George Floyd protests across the nation.
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