NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Houston Texan, Sarasota native joins protesters in downtown demonstration

Karan Higdon
Posted at 12:37 AM, Jun 04, 2020

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of downtown Sarasota, not allowing the wet weather to wash out their message.

One well-known demonstrator in mix was Karan Higdon, a Sarasota native and running back for the Houston Texans.

"We don’t need this problem to go on any longer," said Higdon. "We should be able to walk through our community and feel safe, feel protected because that’s the job description that they were hired to do."

Higdon says he met with Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino on Wednesday and remains positive about the relationship between the African-American community and police department moving forward.

"If we can make a change here, there’s no telling the impact we’ll have nationwide," said Higdon.

Natasha Clemons' son, Rodney Mitchell, was shot and killed by two Sarasota deputies in 2012, just six months after returning home from college.

Clemons spoke to the crowd of hundreds Wednesday calling for the two deputies to be fired and charged.

Both deputies involved in that case were cleared of any criminal charges.

"An innocent, young man returning home to enjoy his life and his life was taken because of a seat belt violation," said Clemons.

Moving forward, Higdon says he is hosting Facebook Live with the Sarasota police chief and Sarasota County sheriff at 3 p.m. Friday to answer questions and open a dialogue with the community.