Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

FDLE gets barrage of calls after protest group says food is denied

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was inundated with hundreds of phone calls Saturday after a group of protesters outside Gov. Rick Scott's office tweeted that Capitol Police were denying them food and water and urged people to call the agency in protest.

The FDLE denied the allegations and asked the media not to republish the phone numbers put out by the protest group Dream Defenders. FDLE officials said some of those phone numbers are used by law enforcement agencies throughout the state to request Amber Alerts and crime scene or investigative help.

Phillip Agnew, the Dream Defenders leader, said Capitol employees were allowed to bring hot meals to the protesters last weekend. But when a staff member showed up around 2 p.m. Saturday with cold cuts and bread, the police refused the delivery, Agnew said.

Agnew could not provide further details on who had tried to provide the food or why the employee had been turned away.

FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger disagreed with Agnew's account, saying Capitol employees were still allowed to bring food to the protesters this weekend. "We haven't changed anything," Plessinger said. "The rules remain the same."

About 60 protesters, including some children, have stayed in the Capitol over the weekend.

The group began its protest on July 16, three days after neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of Travyon Martin, an unarmed black teenager.

The Miami-based Dream Defenders say they won't leave until Scott convenes a special session on the Stand Your Ground law and racial profiling — a demand the governor has repeatedly refused.

On Saturday afternoon, the group took to Twitter to alert its 8,200 followers that they couldn't get food. "FDLE (capitol police) won't allow meals to come in for us to eat!," @Dreamdefenders tweeted at 3 p.m.

An hour later, they tweeted: "One of the female officers told us that if we're hungry that we can leave."

Responses to the alert were swift, coming in from across America.

"The @Dreamdefenders need our solidarity!," music producer Russell Simmons posted on Twitter along with an FDLE phone number.

On Saturday morning, FDLE released a memo estimating the overtime costs for Capitol Police since the sit-in began as $57,971.

FDLE gets barrage of calls after protest group says food is denied 07/27/13 [Last modified: Saturday, July 27, 2013 10:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. PolitiFact takes on big health care question: Does GOP bill cut Medicaid?

    National

    Politics and math don't always get along, and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway raised a common complaint about how people talk about the future of Medicaid spending under the Senate Republican health care bill.

    Alice Jacobs, 90, at Dogwood Village, a nonprofit county-owned nursing home in Orange, Va., on June 23. Medicaid, targeted by Republicans' health care bill, pays for most of the 1.4 million elderly people in nursing homes, some of whom do not know they are on it. (Khue Bui/The New York Times)
  2. Higher Social Security payouts help Florida post a big jump in personal income

    Personal Finance

    Personal income grew 1.3 percent in Florida in the first quarter of this year, a four-way tie among all states for second-fastest growth behind Idaho.

  3. Gov. Scott in Washington as health care debate intensifies

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday began a daylong series of meetings in Washington on health care, saying he wants to ensure Florida gets its share of Medicaid funding while praising parts of the Senate GOP’s Obamacare replacement.

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks at Creative Sign Designs in Tampa on June 13.
  4. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and estranged wife Carole put Beach Drive condo on the market

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo on the market for $1.5 million.

    U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo in Parkshore Plaza on the market for $1.5 million. {Courtesy of Amy Lamb/Native House Photography]
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor's race has been making headlines for nearly two months as Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker have been making speeches, pressing the flesh at fundraisers and gathering their ground forces for an election battle that has already broken fundraising records.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.