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Hernando County protests remain peaceful despite counter-protesters

Hernando County

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – When Eagle 8 HD flew over Brooksville Friday afternoon, protesters were clashing with counter-protesters shouting and waiving the confederate flag. Eagle 8 reporter Paul Lamison documented the event on WFLA Now.

“The counter-protesters, they’re both screaming at each other now … the guy is waving his confederate flag,” Lamison reported from the air. “And again, I don’t think the officer’s mind if they’re yelling back and forth. It’s if they start throwing anything. So right there are the officers on the street. “

By the time our ground crew arrived, the counter protesters had retreated.

Most of those marching for Black Lives Matter and George Floyd had also left. About two dozen remained standing in front of the Hernando County Courthouse discussing ways to move forward.

For Kacie Barnes, this protest is passionate. “This is my home town. I was raised here, I went to every school here,” said Barnes. “I have family right across the tracks. I am a mixed-race child, yes. I am a black woman mixed white. My father is black, my mother is white. But here I am today because they decided to come together. “

Most protesters believe change is in the works, and those counter-protesting today, don’t represent a majority of Americans.

Vincenzo Capoccetta says there will always be those who are against change.

“There’s always going to be haters, that’s just how it is. It just comes to making them the minority when it comes to racism,” said Capoccetta. “And showing them that we’re not going to tolerate it for much longer. “

Sy Crowley agrees. “Actions speak louder than words,” said Crowley. “So, I just let them talk and let it go through one ear.”

Hernando sheriff’s office deputies say the protest was peaceful, but they did make one arrest.

Investigators report 34-year old David Howell of Zolpho Springs who tried to start a fight. When deputies approached him he pulled out a machete.

After Howell fled from deputies and failed to drop the machete a taser was used to take Howell into custody. Howell now faces charges for resisting arrest and improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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