Police officers, business owners join protesters at DeLand rally

Hundreds of people were gathering for a peaceful protest in DeLand Tuesday night.

It’s the city's first major protest following demonstrations in Port Orange and Daytona Beach over the weekend. The organizer said violence won’t be tolerated and is encouraging people to wear face masks.

DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger released a video statement ahead of the event.

“It is clear that our nation is hurting. It is broken and has been for some time,” he said.

He said his department along with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office will be out.

“Myself and the DeLand Police Department will support and uphold these rights,” he said. “We ask that civility, cooperation, and peaceful behavior be the mark of our community.”

Brittany Morelli, the owner of BerryVille Bowlicious, used her storefront as a canvas, painting “We are with you. We hear you. We stand with you.”

“I think it’s good for the community and the protestors walking tonight to see we are with them, and we hear them, and we stand with them,” she said.