PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - Some residents have raised concerns about Melvin Miller and other homeless people in Sutton Park, Miller argues he and others have a right to be here.
Though the woman is upset that Miller and his friends camp out at the park, Miller says he’s doing nothing wrong and he’s not upset the woman brought up these concerns.
“She’s allowed to voice her opinion, we’re a free country," said Miller. "In Manatee County we embrace people and their opinions.”
Palmetto Police Chief Scott Tyler says Miller and other homeless people have a right to be at the park just like anyone else, as long as they aren’t committing a crime or violating the city ordinance.
“One of the things that people need to understand is there’s no law against spending the entire day on the bench at the park. We have park hours and if those individuals are found in the park or anybody is found in the park after hours the police ask them to leave," said Tyler. "We do also patrol our parks pretty heavily, especially after hours.”
Many residents we talked with backed Miller while some others say the homeless problem has gotten out of control at the park.
Miller, who has a dog with him, plans on continuing to enjoy Sutton Park during regular hours. He tells us what he enjoys about the park.
“The pleasant atmosphere and the surrounding neighbors,” said Miller.