A group of people was arrested at the Duval County Health Department Tuesday ahead of a press conference by Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. As the cases of COVID-19 are dramatically increased in the state, protesters were on hand at the public health building demanding answers.
Things turned against the group when the facilities manager threatened to remove anyone who wasn't a member of the press. DeSantis foe, Daniel Uhlfelder took to Twitter to point out that the allegations of trespassing were "unconscionable" because it's a state-building, a public facility in which the governor is holding a public press conference.
Ben Frazier, a Jacksonville journalist and member of the National Association of Black Journalists, stood up to the facilities manager to make the same case, saying, "we have a right to be here and we're not going!" He was then arrested.
Florida state Rep. Angie Nixon noted that Frazier is also disabled and wasn't allowed to use his wheelchair when arrested. He requested it from the police while he was on camera. DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw claimed Frazier was "trespassing."
Uhlfelder attacked DeSantis for allegedly being missing for weeks during the COVID surge. Now that he's back, Uhlfelder said, DeSantis wants to have people removed.
See the photos and videos from the incident:
#BREAKING The facilities manager is threatening to remove anyone who isn\u2019t credentialed as \u201cmedia\u201d as trespassers.pic.twitter.com/oCQWk79ySy— Leah Shields (@Leah Shields) 1641310238
Floridians attempting to attend DeSantis press conference at state building are threatened with trespass. The press conference is at Duval County Health Department which is clearly a public building and he is holding public press conference. UNCONSCIONABLE! @RemoveRonhttps://twitter.com/ArekSarkissian/status/1478388367318560772\u00a0\u2026— Daniel Uhlfelder (@Daniel Uhlfelder) 1641310660
Ron DeSantis is a coward and afraid of his own constituents. @RemoveRonpic.twitter.com/5lcD0kcIhv— Daniel Uhlfelder (@Daniel Uhlfelder) 1641310040
Florida citizen arrested for attending DeSantis public press conference in public buildingpic.twitter.com/Ghnvki3ncA— Daniel Uhlfelder (@Daniel Uhlfelder) 1641311172
Man just arrested for attending DeSantis press conference in public building. H/t @LeahShieldsNewspic.twitter.com/WTUUh7PYeA— Daniel Uhlfelder (@Daniel Uhlfelder) 1641311048
Here\u2019s an update. Law enforcement cleared the room and placed Ben Frazier, a Jacksonville activist, in cuffs.pic.twitter.com/OkX0VeYGVU— Forrest Saunders (@Forrest Saunders) 1641311439
Actually. Ben Frazier is a member of @NABJ. He\u2019s a well respected civil rights leader AND journalist. Not to mention he\u2019s disabled and wasn\u2019t allowed to use his wheelchair to leave the site. Which he requested to use ON CAMERA!https://twitter.com/raytroncoso/status/1478399902128431112\u00a0\u2026— Rep. Angie Nixon (@Rep. Angie Nixon) 1641314790