DELAND, Fla. (KRON) – Local authorities in Central Florida are denying allegations of racism and police brutality after they shut down a block party that was attended by around 3,000 people.
Deputies with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said they were hit with alcohol cups, bottles and bar stools after they made the arrests at the weekend block party.
The event, which was held in the Spring Hill community of DeLand, started Saturday afternoon and lasted through early the next day, according to authorities.
Authorities said the outdoor party spanned over several locations in DeLand.
According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, deputies encountered “several issues” while breaking up the massive party.
At around 10:30 p.m., a rifle was pointed at a Volusia County sheriff’s deputy, officials said. The rifle-pointing started a string of incidents that led to a Volusia sheriff’s deputy being struck with a bar stool and another suffering a leg injury, while a DeLand police officer was hit in the head with a jar as he helped a deputy make an arrest.
Shortly after midnight, where about 1,500 people and vehicles had gathered, deputies saw two men exchanging a firearm, per the Sheriff’s Office. Those men, Charles Turner and Alphonso Parker, were later arrested.
The Sheriff’s Office arrested a total of 7 people at the party, including three found with firearms. DeLand police arrested another woman on suspicion of hitting an officer in the head with a bottle, authorities said.
It was reported that the community gathering was initially a memorial to honor a victim of gun violence, but later turned into a separate function where the confrontations with police took place.
Officials on Monday said no authorizations were issued for the event by either the city of DeLand or Volusia County.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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