KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Protestors made their voices heard on the streets of Kissimmee on Monday. A daytime protest drew crowds of hundred.
The purpose of the protest was to stand against police brutality and the officers who were involved in the murder of George Floyd.
The protest was organized by community leaders and the Kissimmee Police Department. It started at the Civic Center, and closed off Broadway Avenue until marchers made it to the Kissimmee Police Department.
Once at KPD, speakers from the community made remarks, as did law enforcement officials. Tamika Lyles, the president of the Osceola County Democratic Black Caucus, made specific demands of the police department, which included creating a civilian oversight committee for the department, and demilitarizing the police.
Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell also spoke out against violence against black people at the hands of police officers and condemned the officers involved in the murder of George Floyd. He talked about the department’s Peer Intervention Program, where they reach officers to intercede, providing scenario-based training that reinforces their need to intervene.
He also made a promise to have a town hall where the creation of a review board will be discussed.
“We are going to put together a community forum to begin the process of a community review. We’re an open book, come see what we do, we are going to start that process,” he said.
As night fell, a second wave of protestors took the streets. Although this protest did not appear to be in coordination with police, officers were present to close down the street to traffic. The protestors chanted and brought signs to the demonstration. Everyone remained peaceful.
There have not been any reports of violence, damage, and crowds hardly even left any litter.Protestors shared their hurt and fear with FOX 5 News.
“I think about my brother. He’s 15 years old. When he leaves the house, is he going to come back?” said one protestor.
Another vowed to continue demonstrating until there is change.
“We never said their lives don’t matter. We said we feel as though our lives don’t matter. And until we feel as though things are turning around, we’re going to be out here trying to make a difference,” he said.