Protest organizers meet with Polk community leaders to discuss demonstration planned for Sunday

Black Lives Matter Polk Restoration met with community leaders Wednesday night at the Dream Center in Lakeland to discuss a demonstration planned for this weekend.

They hope it is twice as big as the one held in Munn Park last Sunday.

“Working with our other law enforcement partners around the county, we are certainly prepared to have a peaceful protest,” Lakeland Police Chief Ruben Garcia said. “And we’re certainly prepared if the protest turns less than peaceful.”

Several hours after the last protest, approximately 150 people blocked Memorial Blvd. and Florida Avenue. When police told them to disperse, they refused and were tear-gassed.

RELATED: Peaceful protesters gather in Polk County, curfew in effect at 8 p.m.

One of the aims of Wednesday night’s meeting was to try and avoid similar problems.

“I feel like, in Lakeland, we have enough people that want to sit down and have this conversation, and who want to move forward,” said Jarvis Washington, founder of Black Lives Matter Polk Restoration.

The demonstration this weekend is planned for Sunday, June 7, at Munn Park, at 2:30 p.m.