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We have received the NAACP Okaloosa Branch’s list of demands and understand their concerns. Sheriff Eric Aden has been in regular, close communication with the NAACP Okaloosa Branch in addition to U.S. Air Force leadership at Hurlburt Field, elected officials, and other community partners since the tragedy occurred. 

The NAACP’s local leadership privately viewed the available body-worn camera footage at our invitation. At this time, a criminal investigation is being conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The request for other documentation related to the investigation is exempt under Florida Statute Chapter 119.071 as they are part of an active criminal investigation. We remain closely connected with FDLE related to the progress of this investigation. 

For our part, we wish to assure the NAACP Okaloosa Branch, its stakeholders, and our community of our firm commitment to transparency and accountability. In the Sheriff’s meeting with the NAACP and Hurlburt Field leadership this morning, he emphasized his commitment to do what is right.

We humbly ask for patience as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and State Attorney’s office conduct the most thorough review of the facts in this case. We continue to pray for Senior Airman Fortson and his family.