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Activists renew calls for charges against Tally19 to be dropped

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 5:59 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Local activists are renewing calls for charges against the Tally19 to be dropped, citing discrepancies in law enforcement response after last Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol.

The protestors were arrested on September 5 of 2020.

“Let’s get together. Call Jack Campbell, tell him to drop these charges,” said local activist Trish Brown. “City officials, stand up. Faith leaders, stand up.”

Local pastor Lee Johnson says there is a clear difference between law enforcement response to the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer and last week’s riots.

“There’s somebody who would walk the neo-nazis through. But when I look around at these young folks, they wouldn’t let you walk through,” said Johnson.

“In Washington DC, no such enforcement, no kind of aggression was exercised against those deemed as white nationalists,” said Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor. “This leads us to believe that indeed, there is a racial consciousness in policing, and policing protests.”

Proctor sent letters to the City Commission and Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil, asking for a coordinated law enforcement response ahead of possible protests this weekend.

“That we have the kind of preparedness, that we have the kind of aggressiveness from law enforcement against those who would come to protest, and white nationalists and promote white supremacy for our nation,” said Proctor.

He’s also requesting a briefing for County Commissioners from the Sheriff.

Tuesday’s group is also speaking out against the Governor’s push for legislation to stiffen penalties for protestors who turn violent.

City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow was vocal about his opposition, calling it fear-mongering.

“We see this bill that Governor DeSantis is pushing that attempts to criminalize your free speech. And I ask myself, ‘What the hell is going on?’” said Matlow. “They don’t want you to assemble. And that’s what this is about. They want you to be afraid to come out and speak your mind.”

Activists also had complaints about the City of Tallahassee’s ordinance requiring permits for protests and liability insurance; Matlow said it would have to be taken up at a formal City Commission meeting.

Activist Lakey Love said they would demand that those ordinances change at coming meetings.

Other groups represented in person and virtually at Tuesday’s press conference include the Florida Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, More Than a Name, Florida National Organization for Women,

Power Up People, Southside Political Action Committee, and the Florida People’s Advocacy Center.

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