WATCH: Body cam video shows Nikki Fried, Sen. Lauren Book and other protester arrests
Four of the protesters, who were arrested at Tallahassee City Hall last month, were back in court Wednesday
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - New body camera footage obtained by WCTV Tuesday shows the moment 11 people were arrested outside City Hall last month for protesting after dark.
Florida Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book and former gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried were among those arrested. They were demonstrating last month against a newly-passed six-week abortion ban.
Four of those protesters had court dates Wednesday, including Book.
Local attorney Mutaqee Akbar is representing nine of the 11 protesters. He told WCTV the state attorney’s office has not yet filed formal charges against the protesters. He’s hoping charges won’t be brought at all. Akbar says if they are, he will likely file a motion to dismiss them. He believes his clients are protected by their first amendment right to free speech.
Shortly before the April 3 protest, city staff put up a sign outside City Hall designating the area as a park. Mayor John Dailey told WCTV that protesters were violating a long-standing city ordinance that prohibits people from staying in city parks after dark.
Akbar argues this is the only time the city has enforced that rule. He believes his clients were targeted because they were protesting.
“At the point where they were arrested, they were citizens on public property,” he said.
State Attorney Jack Campbell tells WCTV he will “make a charging decision in the coming days.”
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