FL Dem Black Caucus-The Orlando Times
Florida Democratic Black Caucus Appalls The Arrest Of Activist Ben Frazier At Governor’s Press Event
BY LOUIS C. WARD
Photo Cutline: DBCFlorida President Trevor Mallory
The Democratic Black Caucus of Florida (DBCFlorida) and its 27 local chapters revoltingly rejected the removal of Mr. Ben Frazier, a community activist and President of Northside Coalition, from Governor Ron DeSantis scheduled 10:15 am news conference to health officials at Florida’s Department of Health Tuesday, January 4, 2022, said DBCFlorida President Trevor Mallory.
Mr. Frazier, a longtime active and vocal fighter for civil rights and social justice, was only exercising his first amendment rights to appear and speak to Governor DeSantis, a public official, at a public meeting held in a public building, continued President Mallory. “For him to be handcuffed, arrested, and charged with a trespassing misdemeanor for peacefully protesting is a good example of how Governor DeSantis would have employed his HB1 “anti-riot” law against anyone who disagrees with him. HB1 was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge last September 2021.”
President Mallory said, “We are aware that Mr. Frazier’s remarks: ‘We’re not moving…Go and get the Governor” who he called an ‘enemy of the public’ and the responses from the governor’s staff and the building manager created a heated exchange. However, Mr. Frazier definitely had a right to be there because it was a public meeting about COVID 19 to public health officials. Like Mr. Frazier stated, “there’s nothing private about public health.”
The statement from the Governor’s office regarding the issue was “Every citizen has a right to protest in public places, but not to disrupt press events that are being held in secured facilities”. The entire nation knows that Governor DeSantis’ response to the COVID 19 pandemic was unsatisfactory and the high rate of infections and deaths from COVID 19 in Florida substantiates that premise. The possibility of another health crisis with omicron determines that the people of Florida know what Governor DeSantis policies are to keep Floridians safe and healthy,” concluded President Mallory.