NewsFlorida News


Charges dropped against activist handcuffed at DeSantis press conference

Ben Frazier
Posted at 1:06 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 13:07:26-05

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Trespassing charges have been dropped against Jacksonville civil rights activist Ben Frazier, according to his attorney John M. Phillips.

"We are pleased to announce that trespass charges against respected civil rights activist Ben Frazier were dropped on Friday January 21," Phillips said. "This apparently was in response to my email Thursday. There is no need for a hearing; and there was, in fact, no need for an arrest. They knew it. Now we begin the process of legal action pertaining to Mr Frazier's illegal and inappropriate arrest and restriction of speech."

Frazier was part of a group of citizens who attended a scheduled press conference at the Duval County Florida Department of Health where Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, M.D. were to speak on Jan. 4.

The group members were asked to show press credentials or to leave the building.

"This governor is the enemy of the people," Frazier said as a person with the governor's office tried speaking with him at the event. "Is the governor afraid to meet the people? We are his constituents," he continued as officers moved in to place him in handcuffs.

Frazier released the following statement after having the charges dropped:

“Freedom of speech is as important today as it was when the Bill of Rights was first written.  I am thankful for all of the people who supported us on and off of social media. It should be duly noted by all that Governor DeSantis is not above the U.S. Constitution. We invite him to live up to his office’s promise of a meeting for the purpose of discussing the cares and concerns of poor and Black Floridians."