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Protest near Williston expected to turn into late night party

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 6:31 PM EDT
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WILLISTON, Fla. (WCJB) -A protest scheduled for late Friday night in Williston is expected to turn into a large party, and the organizer says that’s exactly the point.

Organizer Kenuel Gates says they’re protesting to fight what they call inequitable narratives. An example being a recent shooting, at a mostly white party, they say was described very differently by law enforcement in Williston’s historically black neighborhoods.

“Not sure how many officials knew about it but there was a party last weekend where a group of white kids had a party they had a brawl and a shoot out,” said Gates. “But the police were out stopping people in traffic keeping people out of what they thought was a block party in East Williston.”

Teenager Sunny E Wallace was arrested for shooting another juvenile in the abdomen.

“No one called him a thug, nobody counted how many people were at the house party they had,” said Gates. “But when it comes to the East side of Williston there’s always 5000 people, 3000 people and there’s always drugs and guns involved.”

Gates says this protest party has no end time but will be shut down if violence erupts.

“There’s no need for weapons. I’m not about violence, I don’t promote violence we’ll keep it peaceful. Even to the residents in the area we’ll be a little noisy so don’t take it personally but this is something that needs to happen. It may hurt the heart but we’re going to fix the sight.”

The Levy County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the protest party and say they acknowledge the right to peacefully assemble for those who attend. They will respond if there are any calls for service in the area.

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