This afternoon, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported to Historic City News that their agency was receiving hundreds of phone calls from protest supporters claiming that Capitol Police members were denying them food.
When the “dream defenders” began their protest at the Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee on Monday, July 15th, a state spokesperson told reporters that Capitol Police made clear to them that there are three rules for those who participate.
“Those rules have been in place throughout the protest including last weekend,” Gretl Plessinger, FDLE Office of Public Information told reporters.
Rules for protestors when the Capitol is closed:
1. After regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. -5 p.m.) those who are in the Capitol to protest can remain. Protestors can leave at any time, however Capitol Police will not open the doors for anyone until the Capitol reopens for business.
2. Protesters must remain peaceful.
3. Protestors must remain within the designated areas on the Plaza level of the Capitol.
“Protestors are free to leave to get food, however based on the rules, they cannot return until Monday morning,” Plessinger said. “Some protesters have also been receiving food, after hours, through legislative members and their staff.”
Legislators and Capitol staff with key cards continue to have access to the Capitol Building 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Capitol Police rules were explained to organizers of the protest before the protest began — and those rules have not changed; nor, have police deviated from them during the protest, Plessinger explained.