PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- An event to show support for Punta Gorda police chief Tom Lewis turned into a confrontation Sunday after protestors showed up.
A "Keep Chief Tom" group on Facebook organized a fundraiser for Sunday at the Beef O'Brady's in Punta Gorda. A social media post by the group reads, "He needs a good lawyer to fight this unnecessary charge and we want to help him raise the funds he'll need to win."
Chief Lewis was recently charged with culpable negligence after one of his officers shot and killed a woman during a citizen's academy last year.
Chief Lewis has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation continues.
Event organizers didn't want to speak with Fox 4 on camera but said off camera at the event they were expecting protestors at the event. One member referenced a Facebook group called Charlotte County Cop Watch.
Two men associated with the group showed up and were eventually asked to leave the restaurant. The owner of Beef O'Brady's said, "We are going to refuse service to anybody who is not supporting the cause we are doing here today, unfortunately. We are not looking for any problems here, this is a positive message we're trying to spread here."