Protesters gather for peaceful assembly in Clermont

Protesters gathered at Clermont City Hall early Wednesday evening, listening to speakers during what was a peaceful assembly. 

About 500 people came together carrying signs that read "Black Lives Matter" and pictures of George Floyd, calling for changes to how police officers are hired and for institutional reforms.

Many expressed support of Clermont Police Chief Charles “Chuck” Broadway in his efforts to try to diversify the force. 

The march began at the city's waterfront park late afternoon and ended at City Hall.

While the protest was peaceful, police were on the scene to make sure everything stayed that way.  Lake County sheriff's deputies were on the ground, shoulder to shoulder with Clermont police officers, who were also atop the City Hall building.

Marchers held signs that read "black lives matter," and "I can't breathe," a message that has been carried through protests around the world. The organizer of the event said he was proud of today's turnout.

"George Floyd inherited those names. The reason that you see such a power retaliation, such a powerful response now, is because there has been a build-up," said Banicio Adonis. "So when we say 'George Floyd,' it's not just him. It's Eric Garner.  It's Sandra feel me?"

Don Spivey said he wanted to show his support for the movement and help he and his family gain a different perspective.

"It is important for people like myself who didn't grow up in a certain culture to see exactly how our brothers and sisters feel about life," Spivey said.

Organizers consider Wednesday's march a success and say, in addition to fighting to denounce police violence,they also held a voter registration drive so that participants can continue to make change.