TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — On Monday afternoon, the Florida Senate passed SB 300, also called the Heartbeat Protection Act – which limits abortion to six weeks after conception. Later that evening, Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried and Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book found themselves handcuffed and arrested by police.
The news broke on Twitter as video was released showing the Democratic leaders failing to heed the warning of police to vacate the area surrounded by barricades. Fried and Book, along with others, were protesting the abortion legislation passed by the Senate earlier that day.
In a statement, Tallahassee Police said they were unable to accommodate a crowd of that size during overnight hours. Police told protesters they could only be on the property during “normal operating hours.”
“After multiple warnings throughout the day, protesters acknowledged they understood that anyone refusing to leave the premises at sundown would be subject to arrest. This evening, after sunset, the majority of the crowd left the property, while 11 people refused to leave despite numerous requests. They were subsequently arrested for trespass after warning,” the statement said.
Fried and Book are known for their vocal criticism of both the Republican majority and Governor DeSantis.
But as Nikki Fried said herself in 2022, “No Floridian is above the law.”