Black activist arrested ahead of Ron DeSantis press conference: “Why am I handcuffed?”

Black activist Ben Frazier was arrested while demonstrating peacefully in a public space inside Florida state offices where Gov. Ron DeSantis was set to hold a public health press conference.

The first of the two videos below shows Frazier, from Jacksonville, talking to a DeSantis staff member who told him to leave.

“You are trying to prevent us from peacefully assembling in a public building,” Frazier said. “That, sir, is appalling and absurd. It’s a public meeting, it’s a public official, we have the right to be here. And we are not moving! “

He then asks where the governor is. “Is he going to run and hide? Or is he going to confront people?”

DeSantis, known for his cover-up tactics lately, did not appear before Frazier. Instead, law enforcement came to handcuff and escort Frazier out of the building (and into a police car).

“Why am I handcuffed? I haven’t done anything to anyone. Why am I handcuffed,” he says in the second video. “Am I being arrested? “

According to News4Jax:

The facility manager said that although the building is a public building, they conduct private business in certain areas and have asked anyone who was not with the media to leave the room or risk being entered. the property. …

“There is nothing private about public health,” Frazier said. …

The heated exchange continued and eventually ended with Frazier handcuffed out of the building and placed in a marked police car.

Frazier then shared with News4JAX that he was arrested for trespassing but released on his own recognizance and received a notice to appear in court.

“I think this is another stunning example of the governor’s attempt to stop black organizers from demonstrating peacefully. First Amendment rights and public expression are essential to the functioning of a democracy. That’s what it is. The governor should not try to prevent the people from being heard, ”Frazier said.

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