County requested an extra deputy for meeting because of “inciteful” Facebook post


At the April 13 Alachua County Commission meeting, several members of the public commented that they found the presence of 3 Sheriff’s deputies to be “intimidating.” During commission comment, Commissioner Marihelen Wheeler brought up the topic: “I was a little concerned, too, that the perception was, with three policemen in the room, that perhaps we were not expecting folks to be here on good terms… And to have three officers in the room at one time is a little intimidating or doesn’t send a friendly message, that’s all.”

County Manager Michele Lieberman said that normally they have one deputy at meetings, and that deputy stays in Grace Knight, the conference room where the public sits. But a couple weeks ago, someone tried to get into the board room (where the commissioners sit) after being told to go into Grace Knight, “and in addition, there was some Facebook posts, and other social media posts, that were encouraging people to, um, and were somewhat inciteful as to, and there were also some emails, so we did notify the Sheriff’s office, and out of an abundance of caution we asked for a second deputy. The third deputy was at the discretion of the Sheriff’s office… and I do not believe that he stayed for the entire time… Normally, we just have one.”

Alachua Chronicle requested images of the social media posts that were mentioned, and we were sent a single Facebook post from Raemi Glenn that encouraged people to attend the meeting, saying, “Tuesday April 13th we take back our County!”

County Spokesman Mark Sexton said the “take back our county” language was concerning, “especially after what happened on January 6.”