Statement regarding incident at Volusia County School Board meeting
To be fully transparent with with our residents, we have released the body cam footage from an incident at Tuesday's Volusia County School Board meeting. Here is a statement regarding the incident:
"DeLand Police officers were called at 1 p.m. Tuesday to the Volusia County School Board building in reference to a disturbance involving several citizens who were attempting to attend the meeting yet refused to wear masks, which is in violation of the Volusia County School Board’s policy.
As seen in the body cam footage released today and other video that has circulated, Volusia County School staff and our officers attempted to peacefully resolve the situation by offering accommodations for the citizens to participate in the meeting without having to wear a mask. After roughly an hour, the two sides failed to come to an agreement and school board officials requested the citizens be trespassed from the property. Despite being trespassed and being asked by officers on multiple occasions to leave the property, some of the citizens refused and had to be removed from the building.
To reiterate, the police department was not enforcing the school board’s mask policy but rather following the law by removing the trespassed parties from the meeting room. Based on Florida law, those who defy an order to leave after being trespassed from a property could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. However, the Volusia County School Board and DeLand PD have declined to press charges.
Our review of the incident found that the citizens involved in this episode could have been charged with other offenses as well. Yet our officers exercised a tremendous amount of restraint in dealing with this incident and operated as prescribed by law."