Society

Four Arrested In Spontaneous Protest Against Delray Beach Police Stop

| by Will Hagle
Delray Beach melee.Delray Beach melee.

Four people were arrested on various charges related to a small protest that broke out during a routine police stop on Dec. 27 in Delray Beach, Florida. 

The incident began when Delray Beach Police officers say they saw a man walking down the road and smoking. The cops suspected the man was smoking marijuana and they pulled their vehicle to the side of the road. According to the Sun-Sentinel, the suspect fled on foot and entered a nearby house. When he re-emerged, he was accompanied by a group of approximately 20 people that formed a "human shield" around him.

Delray Beach Police Sgt. Nicole Guerriero claims that's when things began to get out of hand, as both more citizens and more officers arrived at the scene and clashes began. An object was thrown that smashed the windshield of one of the police vehicles that had responded to the incident, and police claim another individual threw a recycling bin at an officer. 

"They formed this shield and started getting aggressive. Someone hit the officer and pushed him away, they were throwing bottles, they were cursing and screaming at them," Guerriero said. "The next thing they know, there's 70 to 75 people out there. The officers had to use pepper spray to get people back." 

Out of that large number of protesters, four were detained and are facing criminal charges. Keith Clinton Sr., 58, was charged with obstruction of justice, while 32-year-old Keith Clinton Jr. faces the same charge in addition to assault on a law enforcement officer. Jamarr Harris, 28, also faces an obstruction of justice charge, as well as a charge for inciting a riot. Victor Isme, 34, was charged with the most crimes: assault on a law enforcement officer, possession of crack cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and inciting a riot. 

The four men were detained in Palm Beach County Jail but have since been released. 

Sources: WPTV, Sun-Sentinel / Photo Credit: The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office