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Hendry county protest cancelled after large law enforcement response, curfew

Posted at 11:42 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 23:42:41-04

CLEWISTON, FLA — The Clewiston Walmart parking lot should have been full of protesters.

But instead, it's surrounded by county sheriff's deputies and local police.

The Hendry county sheriff, Steve Whidden, says he pulled out all the stops, after seeing posts about the protest that encouraged violence and looting.

He announced that he'd put a curfew in place for that part of the county just in case, starting at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

We reached out to some of the people who planned to be about here, and they're disappointed.

"I think that they are just working on fear and they just wanted to control it ahead of time even though there wasn't much to back that up," said Paulina Magana.

The curfew also caused some confusion in the city, because the Clewiston police chief, Aaron Angell, said he wasn't sure if it was necessary at the time.

"We didn't feel that any of the information that we had access to at the time that we made the decision indicated that there as any imminent threat," said Angell.

Either way, those I spoke to said while bummed, the message behind why they wanted to come out, still rings true.

"I thought it was my job to speak out on the oppression that many black people in my community have faced," said Deyla Cardenas.

"I'm very excited for the momentum that the nation as a whole is having, I do feel like this is another wave of civil rights that cannot be ignored anymore," said Magana.

Those women also told me that they plan to keep raising their voices.