Leon County Commissioner candidate Kelly Otte expressed her views about the recent altercation at a downtown protest on her candidate Facebook page.
Referring to the man who brandished a gun after being attacked at the protest, Otte wrote, “I can’t imagine any legitimate scenario where he is not charged with a crime.”
Otte went on to assign blame and motivation in the altercation which is still being investigated by law enforcement officials.
Otte wrote that the “gunman brought a gun to a peaceful protest and went out of his way to antagonize people – literally pushing a woman to escalate the situation.”
She said the man “was motivated by hate and violence.”
The Facebook post is provided below.
Otte is in a race with Carolyn Cummings to fill an at-large seat on the Leon County Commission. The election is November 3rd.
Kelly Otte Statement
The violence directed at the peaceful racial justice protesters this weekend was infuriating. The gunman brought a gun to a peaceful protest and went out of his way to antagonize people – literally pushing a woman to escalate the situation. That’s not exercising his right to freedom of speech – that’s using a gun to terrify and hurt people. What he did was motivated by hate and violence. I can’t imagine any legitimate scenario where he is not charged with a crime.
There is an opportunity for our leadership to reflect on how our local law enforcement evaluates risk and de-escalates aggressive situations. As County Commissioner I will work to increase awareness of how bias impacts actions, policies and procedures and work to enact positive change. It is clear we need to do better as a community. As your next County Commissioner, I’m ready to continue doing the work that I’ve been doing for the past 30 years — dismantling racism by naming it when I see it and holding others accountable for their actions and behaviors.