As my bio mentions, I have lived in the city of St Petersburg, Florida for the past nine years. It was my dream since 2003 to live on a sailboat, and coming to St Pete in 2011 allowed me to realize that dream.
But now this artsy-fartsy Mecca of “pretty people” and liberal ideas has become a simmering pressure cooker, threatening to explode into open street violence.
Terrorist groups, BLM and ANTIFA have been taking to the streets on a regular basis, ever since May and the George Floyd incident. Originally, the police caught several of the protest leaders bringing bricks, fireworks and gasoline to St Pete, and arrested them. The protests never reached the riotous levels of Portland, Seattle or New York – not yet.
But these anarchists have found other ways to intimidate and terrorize the people of this city.
The two favorite tactics of the BLM and ANTIFA “peaceful protestors” have become to 1) disrupt average citizens who are simply trying to dine at downtown restaurant establishments, and 2) block vehicle traffic at intersections and roadway bottle-neck areas.
Often, these tactics are not peaceful at all. People who try to drive through or around the roadblocks wind up getting their cars damaged by skateboards, sticks, bricks, hands and feet.
Those who are trying to have a nice time on the town and enjoy a meal have to endure large crowds of black clad morons screaming and yelling the most vile stuff, mere feet away. St Pete is a very popular venue for open-air dining. The anarchists love to come right up to the edge of the sidewalk where people are eating, and stand there yelling at them. In a couple of cases, like the one caught on video earlier last month, the terrorists actually invaded the personal space of the restaurant patrons, getting in their faces, sitting at their tables, and refusing to leave.
Our mayor, Rick (Little Ricky) Kriseman, continues to support these terrorists and their tactics by declaring them to be “peaceful protests.” It is clear that City Hall’s policy is to prevent the police from taking action to stop these non-peaceful agitators. Police do not show up to clear BLM roadblocks. When the anarchists are marching downtown, harassing restaurant patrons, and blocking vehicle traffic, St Petersburg police officers are nowhere to be found. Yet, there will be 8 to 10 officers at static posts near the new pier.
You see, the new pier is the crown jewel in Little Ricky’s cap. And, on opening day, BLM terrorists invaded it.
One person even got punched in the face.
So Little Ricky had to do something. Otherwise, no one would go to the pier, which he spent $93 Million of the taxpayers’ money to build (after it was only supposed to cost $50 Million – but that’s a Democrat mayor for you). So, Little Ricky had Chief of Police, Anthony Holloway, put a bunch of his cops on the pier and around the pier to prevent such altercations – but, still, the downtown police presence leaves much to be desired. Not to mention that BLM and ANTIFA still set up regular road blocks and are not confronted by SPPD.
I remember just a year ago when, if you walked downtown in St Pete on any weekend evening, there were cops everywhere. Foot patrols, bike patrols, mounted horse patrols, and even cops in off-road vehicles. However, in a live-streamed video I watched on Facebook last weekend during a Patriot march through downtown, the videographer documented multiple times BLM thugs were blocking intersections and roads – with no cops anywhere to be found. But, once the groups went near the entrance to the pier, it was well protected by St Pete’s finest.
I’m going to make this as clear as I can: I am 100% in support of the men and women wearing the badge, patrolling the streets of St Pete. I know it is driving them batty to be told to constantly to stand down, and not respond to these incidents. I know they have to obey orders.
My finger is pointed directly at Mayor (Little Ricky) Rick Kriseman and Police Chief Anthony Holloway. The chief needs to grow some gonads and tell the mayor that his officers are going to enforce the law – period – wherever it is being violated.
Last night, the St Petersburg City Council had a meeting in which they discussed the “ongoing protests for racial equality,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.
During that meeting, Councilman Robert Blackmon presented a motion to encourage the St Petersburg Police Department to “enforce all laws against blocking traffic.”
Now, I want you to stop and think about that. A city council member had to make a motion (bring it up for a vote) to have the city council “encourage” the police department to enforce already existing traffic laws. (No link – just emphasis)
Thank you, Robert Blackmon, for having a spine and some common sense. I support you. But, it’s shameful that this is what it takes to try to get law and order in our town.
But wait – it gets more stupid.
Council member Brandi Gabbard called Blackmon’s motion “grandstanding.” Council member Darden Rice called it “gimmicky.” Council member Deborah Figgs-Sanders said she supported “the marchers!”
Not another council member would second the motion. Yes, you read that correctly, NO OTHER ST PETERSBURG CITY COUNCIL MEMBER WOULD SECOND A MOTION TO ENCOURAGE THE POLICE TO ENFORCE THE ALREADY EXISTING LAWS OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA!
Here are some of those laws that St Pete PD is not allowed to enforce against BLM.
870.02 Unlawful assemblies. —If three or more persons meet together to commit a breach of the peace, or to do any other unlawful act, each of them shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.
877.03 Breach of the peace; disorderly conduct.—Whoever commits such acts as are of a nature to corrupt the public morals, or outrage the sense of public decency, or affect the peace and quiet of persons who may witness them, or engages in brawling or fighting, or engages in such conduct as to constitute a breach of the peace or disorderly conduct, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.
(1) A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device specifically applicable to the pedestrian unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
(3) Where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by other circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic.
(4) Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction.
(8) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
(12) No pedestrian shall, except in a marked crosswalk, cross a roadway at any other place than by a route at right angles to the curb or by the shortest route to the opposite curb.
As you can see, we don’t need any new laws or special council meetings to deal with the BLM and ANTIFA thugs in our streets here in St Petersburg. Laws already exist that address these circumstances in everyday life.
I know that Little Ricky Kriseman will not change.
But Chief Anthony Holloway swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitutions of the United States of America and of The State of Florida.
Chief Anthony Holloway’s JOB is to direct his officers to enforce the laws of the State of Florida.
Not just some of the laws. Not just against most of the population while they look the other way while BLM antagonizes St Petersburg citizens.
It’s time for YOU, Chief Anthony Holloway, to pin on your badge, strap that gun to you hip, remember why you decided to become a cop all those years ago, and tell mayor Little Ricky Kriseman that, starting today, your cops are going to enforce ALL laws against anyone who breaks them.
I know. It’s scary. I was in your shoes once, facing a boss who told me to ignore a crime that I witnessed. I wrote about it in my book, Blue Lives Matter – The Heart Behind the Badge. You should read my book.
What is your integrity worth to you, Chief?
Brian Whiddon spent 15 years as a street cop. In his book Blue Lives Matter – The Heart behind The badge, he shares his experiences and reminds us that cops, first and foremost, are HUMAN BEINGS, and need to be seen as such. 10% of all proceeds go to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation to help families of first responders killed in the line of duty.