DELAND, Fla. – BerryVille Bowlicious not only shows support in the shirts the employees wear but on their storefront window located on Woodland Boulevard in DeLand.
“I thought I would give a little encouragement to the protesters and let them know that we are on their side,” Owner of BerryVille Bowlicious Brittany Morelli said.
Morelli said several businesses in downtown DeLand share the same sentiment, supporting the protesters who are fighting to stop discrimination and injustice following the death of George Floyd.
Morelli also stressed the protest should be peaceful.
"I'm concerned. I don't know. It could always turn bad. We'll be here all night to make sure everything is peaceful and to high five people walking by and let them know that we are with them," she said.
Bill Budzinksi, owner of Elusive Grape Wine Bar said he’ll be out supporting the demonstrators as well.
“I am going to be right here. If everyone’s walking, then I’ll walk with them. If they want to come out and have a drink, we’ll have a drink. This is a small community and we’ve been working together for a very, very long time to make it what it is. I know that everyone is supportive of their cause,” Budzinski said.
DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger sent out a video message on Tuesday, supporting the protesters’ cause, and said his own department has been working with residents to improve their relationship.
“The color of one’s skin should not be a reason for any person to be treated differently under the law,” said Chief Umberger. “Ultimately, it will require building trust, caring, and understanding to heal the open wounds that exist within our society and the community.”
Chief Umberger also stressed that it’s important for folks to still wear masks and practice social distancing the best they can as we’re still in the middle of a pandemic.