ORLANDO, Fla. - A woman who attended a block party in the city's Parramore area on July 27 says she's angered by comments made by an Orlando police officer.
In footage recorded by his body cam, the officer is heard saying, "They're just going to sit down there until we come. Boy, you got to love my people. Hard-headed until the very end."
The officer was referring to the estimated 800 people that had gathered in Parramore on July 27 for a "Rest In Peace" block party to remember those who had passed away.
Celonica Melton was at the party and said she was disturbed by the officer's comments.
"It's always 'us' to them," she said. "That comment was really uncalled for because we were out there peacefully, enjoying ourselves, and this is an area event."
The party was thrown without a permit, and Orlando police say the number of people attending prompted them to launch a "show of presence" in order to get the crowd to disperse.
Officers used batons, riot shields and smoke bombs as deterrents.
Melton said she thought a riot was about to break out.
"I thought it was going to escalate. I thought it was going to eventually turn out real messy," she said.
Melton says many of her friends and neighbors feel intimidated by Orlando police officers, but she doesn't.
That's why she's filing complaints on how police handled themselves that night.
"I'm the one that's going to stand up and try to help my people to let them know that we have rights," she said. "We have to stand up for these rights because if we don't, nothing is ever going to change."
Orlando police say no one was arrested that night, and they are not reviewing their tactics.
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