TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Two days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, security was being elevated at state capitols across the county. Planned armed protests are expected, but in Tallahassee, the seven demonstrators who gathered Sunday were the largest group we’ve seen thus far.
Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey says no permits have been received for official protests, but that is not stopping the city from being prepared. Several different law enforcement agencies are out, just in case large crowds of protestors begin to gather.
“I hope that our message of preparedness is ringing loud in the ears of anyone who might want to come to Tallahassee and cause violence,” Dailey said.
Preparations picked up over the weekend after Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the National Guard. Federal, state and local law enforcement are staging in and surrounding the capitol complex.
The increased security caused the closure of city hall and the county courthouse, and Tallahassee’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade was postponed to Feb. 6.
“It is the right decision. Everybody’s safety is key. Between coronavirus and threats of violence, it is better to put it on another day,” said Mutaqee Akbar, president of NAACP’s Tallahassee branch.
Tallahassee residents we spoke with also understand that these measures have been taken with their safety in mind.
“You don’t want to bring a bunch of people downtown with differing factions and ideas, so I think it is wise,” resident Robert Stuart said. “Let’s move on, let’s get healthy and let’s be the America we know we can be and we are.”
To date, only one related arrest has been made here. Tallahassee man Daniel Brown was taken into custody by federal agents on charges he threatened to violently confront protesters at the state capitol building Sunday.