Black Lives Matter and President Donald Trump supporters staged opposing demonstrations in Ocala’s Downtown Square on Wednesday evening.
The event, hosted by the Marion County Young Democrats, was a planned demonstration in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by a police officer in Kenosh, Wis. Dozens of counter-protesters staged their own demonstration in support of President Donald Trump, who faces re-election this November against Democratic Presidential Nominee Joseph Biden.
Both groups lined up and down E. Silver Springs Boulevard waving signs, flags and chanting opposing slogans, and at times, counter-protesters tried to bridge the gap between the two groups.
However, officers with the Ocala Police Department kept the protesters separated across both Magnolia Avenue and E. Silver Springs Boulevard.
The staged protest comes in response to the shooting of Blake, who was shot by a police officer in the back seven times while attempting to enter his vehicle.
At times on Wednesday evening, rhetoric became contentious and the use of bullhorns escalated chants well above the sounds of traffic.