SCSO thanks the citizens who participated in the Monday evening peaceful protest at the University Town Center area in Sarasota.
Thank you to citizens who participated Monday evening in a peaceful protest at the University Town Center area in Sarasota. Several deputies noted protesters, although frustrated, were mostly respectful of the property and likewise, of our agency. While there were no major issues, one individual was taken into custody on a warrant for Contempt of Court. Charles Johnson was very compliant upon his arrest and expressed to deputies he anticipated the arrest after publicly announcing his plans to attend the protest.
In a separate incident, four male juveniles attended the protest and retrieved brick pavers from an area of construction on the property. Tactical Unit deputies contacted the juveniles who stated they wanted a “souvenir” and did not plan to use the pavers for vandalism. Contact was made with each of their parents who drove to the scene to take custody of their children. None of the parents were aware their children were at the protest and instead were under the impression their children were at a gym in Bradenton. Each parent was very grateful to our deputies and likewise, we were grateful for their quick response.
As Sheriff Knight expressed in a statement last week and again last night during the protest, as an agency, we too are saddened and frustrated by the events of Minneapolis. Unfortunately, when events of this magnitude take place, they impact us both individually and as a community. We are proud of Sarasota County and thank each of you for your continued partnership.