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City of Tallahassee Requests National Guard Protection And Postpones Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade Due To Protest Concerns

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Tom Flanigan
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Demonstrators supporting President Trump were already expected to gather at the Florida Capitol over the weekend and on Inauguration Day. There have also been online urgings for opponents to mount counter-demonstrations.

If there's no response from Governor DeSantis, Mayor John Dailey says local law enforcement will do what it can to maintain order.

Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey has sent a formal request to Governor Ron DeSantis:
"(I have) Respectfully requested that the governor put full consideration into deploying Florida National Guard troops to Tallahassee so we can continue to prepare for anything that could possibly happen. Now, as the mayor of Tallahassee, I certainly hope there's no violence this weekend or leading up to next week. But hope is not a plan. We have to be prepared and we have to remain vigilant."

In the event the governor does not honor the request, Dailey said the community will mobilize all available local law enforcement personnel to keep order around the Capitol.

"The Tallahassee Police Department has been working hand-in-hand with the Leon County Sheriff's Office, Florida State and FAMU police departments, Capitol Police, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol, FBI, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District," Dailey said.

At the same time, he added the threat of possibly violent demonstrations has forced a change in Monday's Martin Luther King Day observance.

"We are going to postpone the parade until
Saturday, Feb. 6. We're still going to have the opportunity to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King. We're just going to wait until things calm down a little where we can celebrate in true Tallahassee style."