President Trump brick removed from sidewalk in New Smyrna Beach sparks controversy

The brick inscription read 'Trump 2020, Drain Swamp, Brandon and Oma'

The removal of a personalized brick from a sidewalk on Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach has sparked controversy.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The removal of a personalized brick from a sidewalk on Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach has sparked controversy.

Afien Casey, 80, purchased a brick through Flagler Avenue Business Association with the inscription "Trump 2020, Drain Swamp, Brandon and Oma." 

"I can't believe it! Nobody called me to say that there was any problem, I didn't know," Casey said.

Casey said she came up with the message on the brick with her 14-year-old great-grandson a year ago and had no idea her message was a problem.

"They said. Well we had to remove it because somebody had complained about the brick, and that it was offensive to them," Casey said.

The New Smyrna Beach resident said her daughter, who works at a business in front of where the brick was removed, notified her about the removal.

"Our First Amendment right gives us the right of speech and written word but it does not give other people the right to just take away from you," Casey said.

Flagler Avenue Business Association sent a statement to News 6:

"The Flagler Avenue Mark a Memory Walk of Fame Brick Program has been around for over 30 years. This program's intention, like similar programs in other downtown districts, was created to mark milestones and remember loved ones. At their next meeting, The Flagler Avenue Business Association's Volunteer Board of Directors,  will discuss guidelines for brick messages which will be in concert with community stakeholders and the City Of New Smyrna Beach, along with already established guidelines from other downtown districts with similar programs. These updated guidelines will reinforce the program's original intent. Once the guidelines have been established, implementation will be expected to occur immediately."

Casey said if people can commemorate special occasions or loved ones she should be able to as well.

"That was not my political agenda. This was love for loved ones," Casey said. "I love President Trump, too."  

About the Author:

Nicky Zizaza is an Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 6 nightside team in December 2018. She is originally from Rwanda and she started her journalism career in the nation's capital.