The Kissimmee Police Department announced on Monday they are joining protesters calling for an end to police violence.
"The Kissimmee Police Department will be marching in solidarity with residents in Downtown Kissimmee tonight during a peaceful protest against police misconduct or brutality," said the message, attributed to Chief Jeffrey M. O'Dell.
Police will meet residents at the Civic Center at 5 p.m. and begin the march through downtown to the Kissimmee Police Department at 6. They will be closing down Broadway beginning at 4:30 through the end of the event.
It's a notable gesture, considering the significant mark left by white discrimination and institutional racism throughout Kissimmee's history, including homes owned by Black residents once having been subject to inspections by the city health officer and chief of police in 1922.
Even though the city's own history page omits references to it, Kissimmee was once completely segregated. In the 1920s, Black residents could only build houses and buy land in areas designated by the city commission as "black neighborhoods," located far away from white areas. Prospective Black land buyers first had to receive permission from the Kissimmee Development Commission and the city commission.
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