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Fort Pierce MLK Day event consultant appealing ban on using St. Lucie County facilities

James Monds told WPTV he was unaware security for event was canceled night before
Posted at 7:18 PM, Mar 21, 2023

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A key player in planning the Martin Luther King Jr. Day car show that ended with a mother dead and seven others shot is now sharing his side of the story.

St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said Monday that James Monds with Give Back 2 Kids Inc. and Tiffany Burrell, the president of Be Xquisit, are banned from leasing another county facility again after the event erupted into violence, leading to the death of a Nikkitia Bryant

According to Mascara, the two of them failed to provide proper security and did not notify the sheriff's office or the county when they canceled security.

Monds said he is now in the process of appealing this ban.

A mother was killed after a gang-related shooting at Ilous Ellis Park in Fort Pierce on Jan. 16, 2023.
A mother was killed after a gang-related shooting at Ilous Ellis Park in Fort Pierce on Jan. 16, 2023.

According to the letter sent from County Administrator George Landry to Monds, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office received an off-duty detail request form for the MLK Family Fun Day Festival and Car Show Event held on Jan. 16 in Ilous Ellis Park.

The name of the employer of the event on that request form was Give Back 2 Kids, a nonprofit that as of March 12 has Monds listed as its president.

The permit lists the nature of the job that Give Back 2 Kids was in charge of as providing "security, traffic control and direction."

The letter also states the nonprofit requested two deputies to monitor security. The request also stated, "We also hired 4-armed security from Elite Tactical Solutions LLC to assist with traffic and security."

According to a letter sent from the county administrator to Burrell's attorney, Burrell told the county she canceled the security detail because they were not going to be paid. She also admitted she did not notify the county nor the sheriff's office of that cancellation.

Monds told WPTV that he was unaware of that cancellation.

James Monds speaks with WPTV reporter Kate Hussey about his side of the story regarding permits for the MLK Day event in Fort Pierce.
James Monds speaks with WPTV reporter Kate Hussey about his side of the story regarding permits for the MLK Day event in Fort Pierce.

"I was not aware that security was not going to be there," Monds said. "The security detail that I was under the impression was going to be there was the police officers who were there."

"Who was in charge then of hiring the security company, overseeing security, and making sure they got paid?" asked WPTV reporter Kate Hussey.

"Again, I'm not sure who was over the security piece," Monds said. "Our job was to go to the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office and pay for detail. When I hear detail, I think I'm dealing with police."

Monds met with county staff on Feb.14 and told them that Be Xquisit was the organizer of the MLK Family Fun Day Festival and Car Show Event held on Jan. 16, and that he did not sign any of the documents for that event.

He also told WPTV he did not sign any documents for that event, and told us he is only a consultant, not an organizer.

Monds admitted he was listed as the organization's president as recently as March 12 on the Florida Department of State Division of Corporation website, but said he did not "organize" the event.

However, on the facility use application obtained by WPTV, Monds is listed as the authorized contact person for the event, and the application/organization name is "Give Back 2 Kids."

The signature at the bottom of the application does read "James Monds." However, Monds again said he did not sign any documents.

Sheriff Ken Mascara holds a news conference on March 20, 2023, to announce an arrest in the death of Nikkitia Bryant.
Sheriff Ken Mascara holds a news conference on March 20, 2023, to announce an arrest in the death of Nikkitia Bryant.

Mascara also said on the application it was stated there would be no alcohol served at the event, but he said there actually was.

"We know there was actually a beer truck on-premises, which clearly suggests they falsified their application to the county," Mascara said.

Monds said he never hired any of the vendors, including the beer truck, and said he didn't know it was going to be there.

According to the county's letter, Burrell denied filling out the facility use application and said she did not sign the contract for the event. According to the letter, she said Monds knew "other women who could have prepared the paperwork."

WPTV contacted both Burrell and her attorney both by phone and email Tuesday but did not hear back.

WPTV also contacted county commissioners but was told because of the ongoing appeal they would be unable to comment.