NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — It was a bit of a heated afternoon in New Port Richey Sunday as the Black Lives Matter of Pasco County held a protest at the police department for more transparency and counter-protesters caught wind of it.
The Black Lives Matter of Pasco County asked for more transparency in an officer-involved shooting from Tuesday. Law enforcement so far has not released the identity of the person New Port Richey police officers shot and killed, as the investigation is ongoing.
But the Black Lives Matter of Pasco County group feels the community should have more information.
“Still no transparency,” said Marlowe Jones, a Pasco County Black Lives Matter activist.
That’s what Black Lives Matter of Pasco County says they’ve been fighting for since they started protesting earlier this year.
“We’re tired of them writing the narrative, we want to hold them accountable. We want there to be transparency,” said Jones.
During their protest Sunday, they asked NPRPD to release more details surrounding Tuesday’s shooting.
“We want to know the officers involved… did the man have mental illness?” asked Jones.
New Port Richey Police Chief Kim Bogart says officers responded to calls of an “unwanted guest” threatening to use a gun at Sullivan’s Boulevard Lounge on Tuesday.
Chief Bogart confirmed the subject was armed and said, “circumstances lead to the subject being shot.”
Neither officer involved was wearing a bodycam but Chief Bogart says the business where the shooting happened did have cameras. He says the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is currently investigating that footage.
“How long ago was it, that city hall meeting, where they voted to give them $264,000? These officers are still patrolling our streets with no body cams,” said Jones
Chief Bogart says the bodycams were back-ordered but just came in. He says the department’s IT department is currently working to program them.
Meanwhile, during the Black Lives Matter protest, counter-protesters showed up and tensions began to rise.
Protesters and counter-protesters started approaching each other, and arguments got heated.
Deputies from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and officers with the New Port Richey Police Department came out to break up the arguments.
Black Lives Matter of Pasco County says their purpose for protesting over the last several months is to fight for change within the police department and the city.
The group released a list of demands from the New Port Richey Police Department in regards to transparency. Those demands include an investigation by FDLE into the entire police department, bodycams for all officers to be worn at all times, and a community accountability board.
ABC Action News is currently working to find out exactly when the New Port Richey Police Department will have its bodycams programmed and ready to go. Chief Bogart says all 44 of his officers will soon be wearing one.
We’ll bring you updates on the results of FDLE’s investigation into Tuesday’s shooting when the investigation is completed.