The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office issued the following statement Tuesday evening, ahead of two planned protests in Flagler County Wednesday, in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. The first protest is planned for 1 p.m. off the Kohl’s parking lot along Belle Terre Parkway, the second is reportedly scheduled for 5 p.m., starting at Wadsworth Park in Flagler Beach, and crossing the bridge to Veterans’ Park. The Flagler Beach protest is less certain, according to a city commissioner. “They said there is a chance it might not be happening but now with Staly inadvertently advertising it, it’s now going to draw a crowd with potentially no organizer, which is potentially a risk,” the commissioner said this evening.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) has been made aware of planned protests in Flagler County following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis Police. The FCSO will be present to maintain safety at these planned protests and asks that those not involved in the protests avoid the area.
The FCSO is aware of 2 protests on Wednesday, June 3, around 1 p.m. One near Kohl’s in Palm Coast and one near Veteran’s Park in Flagler Beach.
“When a tragic incident like this occurs, it undermines the public’s trust in law enforcement and that is something we’ve worked very hard to build here in Flagler County,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “We have always and will continue to serve this community with integrity and respect. Policing should not be policing the community but instead it should be policing with the community, which is the model we use in Flagler County.”
The FCSO respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights and will protect the right to peacefully protest. However, the FCSO will not tolerate violence in the community, looting, arson or attacks on law enforcement.
If you are aware of a planned protest in Flagler County, please send the information to [email protected]
Staly had addressed the killing of Floyd directly in a May 29 statement: “The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is deeply saddened and disturbed by the events that led to the death of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis. I have viewed the video and, like you, I am shocked and saddened at what I saw. Based on the information known to date, the conduct of the officers involved are inconsistent with the best practices of today’s professional law enforcement officer. The violence and lawlessness we are seeing across the country are never the right response. While emotions may run high, we need to allow the legal system to ensure truth and accountability. That is the American way. Your Sheriff’s Office is trained to de-escalate situations and has a proven track record of showing great restraint. We communicate effectively and efficiently with the community every day and we take the trust you instill in us to act appropriately very seriously. Incidents like this make policing difficult for all law enforcement officers and is not reflective of the many men and women that serve their communities with honor. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mr. Floyd.”
Earlier Tuesday, Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland issued the following statement:
I am deeply saddened by the tragic events of the past few days regarding Minnesota’s George Floyd. Everybody deserves to feel safe in this country. Everybody deserves to feel valued and their voices need to be heard. Not one single person should have to encounter the fears that so many people in our nation are facing daily. My heart is with each and every person who feels marginalized or persecuted.
I believe in peaceful protests. It is a fundamental American right to be able to gather and be heard in order to bring about positive, lasting change. It’s devastating to see the hate and hurt that so many people are feeling as it plays out in other communities across the nation.
We must actively come together in our hearts and in our souls to share our loving encouragement with our friends. Speak with a compassionate voice, reach out and say, “What can we do to help you and support you?” As long as I’ve lived here, as long as I’ve known so many of you, I’ve always stood tall with this community as one people. I’ve always been proud that we are one Palm Coast.
Our strength has always been and will always be our unity in trying times. We have more in common than we have differences. Together, I know that each and every one of us has the humanity and understanding to find common ground.