ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) – Protesters and police officers gathered Friday outside a Florida home that belongs to fired Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who has been arrested for the death of George Floyd.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina addressed the gathering on Friday, saying his office is aware and monitoring the situation.
“Like a lot of other people, we learned a couple of days ago through social media that the former Minneapolis police officer, in fact, had an address – a home – here in Windermere,” Mina said. “We went out there to kind of monitor the situation.”
Sheriff Mina says his understanding is that the Windermere house is a vacation home. He says his deputies were able to get in touch with the family of the former officer and were told the family is not at the Florida home right now and have no intention of going to the home.
“We understand people in Minneapolis, people across the nation and people here in our own community are hurting,” Mina said. “And we understand that people want to do something, want to protest.”
Mina also addressed the video that sparked outrage across the country, showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck while Floyd pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.
“That video is upsetting to me. As a lawman for 30 years, to see something like that from someone – who is now a former part of our profession – do that and actually see that person in a prone position, handcuffed with a knee on top of their neck is very disturbing,” he said.
As other police chiefs have stated, Mina noted that he thinks it would be a good idea to have his deputies watch the video out of Minneapolis during training.
“We have been training for decades of de-escalation, of the fact that we need to intervene if we see someone using excessive force,” he said. “Just like if we saw a citizen doing that to someone, if one of our deputies or officers are doing that, we need to intervene and take action or we’re just as responsible as that person.”
So far, Mina says the situation in Orange County has been peaceful.
“We just ask that people protest peacefully and from everything I’ve seen and heard, I think that’s exactly what we’re going to get here in Orange County,” he said. “I’m proud of the residents in Orange County, the way they have been peacefully protesting.”
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.