On Sunday, April 12, a large group gathered at the Attucks Court apartment complex on West Cervantes Street for a free Easter event, which was not in compliance with Executive Order 20-91
from Gov. Ron DeSantis.
While the event was initially thought to be a spontaneous gathering, it was later determined that it had been planned and promoted in advance. The event was organized by individuals who are not residents of Attucks Court, and it was not authorized or endorsed by the Area Housing Commission or the City of Pensacola.
The AHC is working with the Pensacola Police Department to identify event organizers and issue trespass warnings to those individuals. This is an active investigation by PPD.
“This block party was not endorsed by AHC or its residents,” AHC Executive Director Abe Singh said. “It was organized by non-residents who have no interest in protecting the health and safety of our residents and community. AHC is diligently communicating with all residents to provide COVID-19 safety information and preventative actions they can take to help protect themselves and their families.”
PPD and the City of Pensacola responded to the event on Sunday and worked with PPD patrol officers to disperse the crowd safely, while educating attendees about the importance of practicing social distancing. The crowd was not disruptive or disorderly, and no arrests were made nor citations issued.
“I want to assure the public that the safety and well-being of our community is our top priority in the City of Pensacola, and we are working to prevent something like this from happening again in our city during the coronavirus pandemic,” Mayor Grover Robinson said. “We know it has been a difficult time for many of our residents, but right now we all need to work together to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep our entire community safe. The actions we take as individuals can impact others, including our own loved ones.”
“Incidents like this can be detrimental to our entire community and our efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus, especially to the most vulnerable members of our population,” City Council President Jewel Cannada-Wynn said. “I am urging everyone in our community to take coronavirus seriously and follow guidelines from the CDC, along with orders from the Governor’s Office, City of Pensacola and Escambia County. Together we can overcome the coronavirus pandemic, but it is dependent on each and every one of us doing our part.”
The Area Housing Commission and the City of Pensacola are working together with PPD to continue educating the public about the governor’s safer at home order and the importance of COVID-19 preventative measures including social distancing.