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Senator Powell, District 30 — Press Release


January 4, 2022

CONTACT: Michelle DeMarco, 850.487.5030

Senator Bobby Powell Condemns Detention of Disabled Senior Citizen at Governor’s Press Conference

Tallahassee —

State Senator Bobby Powell, who also chairs the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, on Tuesday condemned the detention on Tuesday of 71-year old Ben Frazier. Frazier, who is disabled, was handcuffed and ejected from Governor Ron DeSantis’ scheduled press conference in Jacksonville as he waited for the event to begin: 

“This was a publicly noticed event, in a public building, organized and held by public officials. Mr. Frazier had every right to attend an event taxpayers are paying for. In restricting the attendance, the governor’s office exhibited a contempt for anyone who disagrees with the governor or his policies. 

“The governor cannot selectively allow just one group of people to attend a public event in a public building, no matter if they’re ‘credentialed’ or not. The governor has ample means of informing the public – social media, press releases, video statements, he readily deploys. Any Floridian present at a press conference hardly blocks the governor’s ability to inform the public of information. It certainly does not warrant a trespass charge, as Mr. Frazier received today. 

“The governor should be ashamed of the treatment this disabled senior citizen received today. Citizens should not have to fear their government. They should not have to fear that their presence will provoke law enforcement to oust them simply because Florida’s governor may not like them or their questions.”