Call this a tale of two Kings.
A civil-rights group’s call for a member of the Deltona City Commission to step down has been met with rejection.
Sean King, president of the West Volusia Branch of the NAACP, publicly called upon City Commissioner Loren King — no relation — to vacate his elected office Oct. 18, because of the latter’s former membership in an organization with connections to the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
“I’m requesting the immediate resignation of current Commissioner Loren King, because of his association with the extremist group known as the Oath Keepers,” Sean King told the City Commission during the public-comment portion of the meeting.
Sean King, who is from DeLand, said he was speaking “as a concerned citizen of Volusia County.” The Oath Keepers, he said, pledge “to obey the Constitution even if their interpretation goes against that of lawmakers and judges.”
“This country is divided by a false interpretation of the Constitution and even the Bible,” Sean King continued. “Extremist groups use these documents to perpetuate lies and cause mistrust.”
For his part, Loren King said nothing until the end of the meeting.
“Fifty-one years ago, I joined the military, and I took an oath to support the Constitution. That oath has never expired,” he told his colleagues and the audience. “I don’t apologize.”
“Three-and-a-half years ago, I took an oath,” Loren King continued, referring to his 2018 election as city commissioner. “I made an oath to the citizens of Deltona and especially to District 1. … If you’re waiting for my resignation, don’t hold your breath.”
The Oath Keepers website notes the organization was established in 2009, following the inauguration of Barack Obama as president. The Oath Keepers, according to the site, is “a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take ‘to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ That oath, mandated by the Constitution itself, is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and Oath Keepers declare they will not obey unconstitutional orders, such as orders to disarm the American people [or] to conduct warrantless searches.”
Some of the people arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol during the counting of the votes from the Electoral College to confirm the 2020 presidential election were members of the Oath Keepers. The attack resulted in five deaths and vandalism, as members of the Congress felt forced to flee the Capitol.
A former Navy SEAL, Loren King says he left the Oath Keepers because of other illegal activities by members of the group before the Jan. 6 takeover of the Capitol.