CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — Clearwater Police Chief Daniel Slaughter went to the city council asking for a buffer zone outside of Bread and Roses Women’s Health Center.
He showed body camera footage from his officers at the public meeting, saying these protests have escalated over the last few months.
You can find communication center data showcasing how often Clearwater police officers are called to the abortion clinic below. Communication-Center-Data-9665-23 Download
Slaughter said something needs to be done.
“I believe we have a solution that allows for people to utilize their free speech rights and exercise those rights to make their comments and make their opinions known,” he explained. “But also for these cars to come and go freely without blocking the entrance.”
You can read the full amendment to the ordinance below. Protest-Zone-Ordinance-9665-23 Download
It was approved unanimously by Clearwater City Council, making it so pedestrians can no longer cross the driveway nor go on the sidewalk within 5 feet of the driveway.
You can find an example below. Five-foot-Marking-Pics-9665-23 Download
Victor McCleskey is a pastor in New Port Richey. He was preaching Saturday morning in the buffer zone of the abortion clinic when he was given a written citation by police.
Documents outlined he was asked three times to sign the citation, which came with a $130 fine.
He refused to sign each time, acknowledging he would be arrested for failing to do so.
“You’d rather go to jail than give me your signature?” the police officer asked McCleskey.
“I wouldn’t rather go to jail, but I’m not signing it,” McCleskey responded.
The officer proceeded to place McCleskey in handcuffs.
He was arrested on a misdemeanor charge for refusing to sign the citation, saying he was led by the spirit of God.
The police officer gave me some warnings that he was going to arrest me if I didn’t sign it,” McCleskey explained. “I told him I wasn’t going to sign it and he arrested me.”
“Looking back, was it worth it?,” 8 On Your Side’s Nicole Rogers asked.
“Yes, because people need to stand for what’s right no matter what the consequences are,” he said. “I strongly believe in that.”
“As for where it’s going to help our situation, we’ll only know about that in the courts,” McCleskey continued. Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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