TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Federal, state and local law enforcement arrived at the state capital in large numbers Sunday morning, and while only a handful of demonstrators were visible, security has been stepped up.
John Dailey, the mayor of Tallahassee, said the city is prepared. “They have been working day and night to prepared,” Dailey said.
Greg Gandy was the first demonstrator to arrive in front of the state Capitol building hoping to get his message heard.
“Somebody should obviously be allowed to express their opinion and it is their right under the first amendment,” Gandy said. “We don’t need somebody who is going to try and destroy this country to be the leader.”
As he stood in front of the Capitol complex, K-9 units patrolled the perimeter. Law enforcement could be seen making their rounds of the federal building. The building is closed after officials learned of potential violence at state capitols leading up to the inauguration in Washington, D.C., of Joe Biden on Wednesday.
“Now, I hope that nothing happens. I hope that we have a peaceful time. I hope that there is a peaceful transition, but, as I have said before, hope is not a plan in itself and we are prepared,” Dailey said.
The mayor requested that the National Guard be activated, and the request was granted by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday.
Leon County Sheriff’s Office blocked off streets near the building. It is there that they are staging and preparing for any potential protesters.
Businesses were boarding up and the increased security comes days after Daniel Brown of Tallahassee was arrested by federal agents on charges that he threatened to violently confront protesters at the state capitol building on Sunday.
“Allow your voice to be heard and we all support that, but we have zero tolerance for violence in Tallahassee and we will not put up with it,” Dailey said.