Security ramped up for white nationalist’s Florida event

FAN Editor

Police have geared up for protests expected this afternoon on the University of Florida campus, where self-described white nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to speak at an event.

Security measures are in place throughout Gainesville, where the school is located. The added precautions stems partly from Gov. Rick Scott’s decision on Wednesday to declare a state of emergency before the event.

The declaration “enables various law enforcement agencies to work together more efficiently” and call in support from multiple jurisdictions, according to the school’s website.

Spencer is the president of a group called the National Policy Institute, which asked to organize an event at the university, a public school. The university originally denied his request in September because of safety concerns. The heightened concern about the event is due to violence surrounding a rally featuring him in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August. One person was killed after a driver plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, and at least 19 others were injured.

But as a state-run entity prohibited from blocking free expression, the school ultimately honored the request, according to its website.

The Gainesville Police Department posted a message on its Facebook page Wednesday, writing, “For months, GPD has been preparing a comprehensive safety and security plan for this week.”

“We have been very tight-lipped about our security measures for good reason … and it’s to keep you safe,” the statement reads.

“We won’t get in to exact numbers … but you can rest assured that there are plenty of extra law enforcement officers in town to help in any situation.”

Security costs for the University of Florida Police Department, Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies total more than $500,000, according to the school website.

School President W. Kent Fuchs has since said the spending is closer to $600,000, The Associated Press reported.

Spencer’s event is slated to start at 2:30 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Next Post

GOP senator criticizes Trump's response on health proposal

WASHINGTON –  Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson says President Donald Trump’s inconsistent stance on a bipartisan health deal has hurt prospects for the Senate proposal aimed at stabilizing insurance markets and lowering premiums. Continue Reading Below Johnson tells reporters: “It’s always best for the president to be completely consistent in […]

You May Like