TALLAHASSEE, FL - September 7, 2020 - According to an online news report from Tallahassee.com, a peaceful protest arose on Saturday after news broke concerning a Leon County grand jury decided not to bring charges against the Tallahassee Police Department officers facing inditement over the shooting deaths of three men. According to the news report, Tallahassee law enforcement donned full riot gear and arrived at the protest being held on the steps in front of the Old Capitol building in Florida's capital city. The scene ignited into a heated exchange that resulted in several arrests.
The news report states that the protest organizers said that the march would start on Bronough Street and then conclude on Monroe Street. The organizers emphasized to the protest participants that they were to ignore any people who will try to agitate them, avoid confrontations with counter-protesters, and clear the streets by using sidewalks if law enforcement makes the request. The news report claims there were about 100 protestors in total many of which were carrying signs that read "No more killer cops" and "Stop killing us."
The situation became intensified as the protestors reached the front of the Old Capitol building located on Monroe Street in Tallahassee, Florida. The situation took a turn for the worse when law enforcement performed a traffic stop on the driver of a motor vehicle that was leading the group of protesters. The news article claims that the reason for the stop was because law enforcement felt the driver was hindering the flow of traffic.
The driver then obeyed by pulling her motor vehicle over to the side of the street. The police officers then asked the driver to step out of her motor vehicle. A group of protesters then advanced toward the law enforcement officers and started to chant "no" and "let her go" and "no" as the group surrounded the woman's automobile. One protestor repeatedly demanded that the law enforcement officers to simply "Just give her the ticket." However, according to the news report, the law enforcement officers started to "forcibly" extract the woman from her vehicle, and then law enforcement officers began pushing protesters away from the woman's car. The protestors attempted to block the law enforcement officers from placing the driver under arrest. Then several more law enforcement officers became involved in the matter, and things escalated.
Over one dozen protesters sat on the ground and linked their arms together to avoid being arrested by law enforcement officers. The law enforcement officers began to separate the protestors and place them under arrest. According to information provided by the news report and a City of Tallahassee press release, a total of 15 people were arrested. According to the news report, three of the protestors who were arrested sustained injuries and were transported to a local hospital.
According to the statements by law enforcement in the news report, multiple law enforcement agencies were called up to manage the protest, including the Florida Highway Patrol, Leon County Sheriff's Office, the Florida State University Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Capitol Police, and the Tallahassee Police Department. The report states that the people were arrested for not complying with police, striking police, and interfering with police during an arrest. The driver was also placed under arrest. One law enforcement officer shouted the protest was an "unlawful assembly" through a loudspeaker.
Many people were wondering why the law enforcement officers showed up in riot gear during the peaceful protest.