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Local attorney arrested after removing his mask during Gainesville City Commission meeting

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

During the first business discussion item on the Gainesville City Commission’s agenda this afternoon, attorney Ray Washington came to the podium to give public comment on the item. After he had been speaking about a minute, Mayor Poe interrupted him, saying, “Mr. Washington, can you leave your mask on?” 

Washington replied, “I’m not going to put my mask on so I can be heard. I’m 6 feet away.”

Poe responded, “We can hear you.” 

Washington spoke over him: “Mr. Poe, you’re using my time. Please stop.” 

Poe again interrupted him: “I’ll give you…” 

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Washington firmly continued, “Please stop it. Now.” 

Poe then said, “Ok, I need to adjourn this meeting until we resolve this,” and the meeting was adjourned.

After the commissioners filed out, City Manager Lee Feldman approached Washington and said the rules require speakers to wear a mask. “You’re choosing not to wear a mask. If you don’t wear a mask while you’re speaking, you’re going to have to sit down.”

Washington said he wouldn’t sit down: “The standard is that I have to be disruptive, not wear a mask… We’re going to be testing this in court.”

The GPD officers at the meeting asked Washington to step outside, but he repeated that he was not being disruptive. The officers said Washington was trespassed, but he said he had not been trespassed. The officers appealed to Feldman, who said, “He is trespassed.” 

Washington continued to calmly refuse to leave and was handcuffed. While he was being handcuffed, he said he had become dizzy while wearing the mask. He was taken to the Alachua County Jail and was booked at 2:38 p.m. Washington will remain in jail until first appearance tomorrow morning.

  • He didn’t play by King Poe’s rules and his black life didn’t matter. Feldman still toeing the line and sucking up on his master to keep his job. How long is it going to take this ignorant liberal community to see through their hypocrisy?
    Highly educated and woke my arse!

  • Ray Washington is a real superhero…Didn’t Governor
    Desantis say something that “they can’t punish you for
    Not wearing a mask” or something like that…and governments instead are going after business owners?— It wasn’t about the mask, they didn’t want
    To hear what Ray was saying because he was tearing them “a new one”….Thanks Ray for working
    On getting our constitutional rights back! You’re the
    Best! I hope you sue them for false arrest, false
    Imprisonment, kidnapping, etc…I get dizzy too when
    I wear a mask and I get claustrophobic…I feel like
    I’m in a weird twilight zone movie surrounded by
    A bunch of communists wearing masks….

    • If you live in Gainesville you are in the twilight zone surrounded by a bunch of communist idiots.

  • Don’t these asses read?? The masks don’t work, let alone the constitutional issue!! Why where these idiots voted in office?? Let’s throw them out, and get people who have neurons that work!!?!? Use common sense, and don’t involve yourselves in our Constitutional rights!! A document that you have never read!!!

  • I think he has good grounds for pursuing a laundry list of charges against the city and its officials operating outside their delegated authority under color of law. I hope he understands they have no personal immunity if they were acting outside of the scope of their authority and that he can charge them criminally. I hate to see my tax money going to defend these jokers, but I’d love to see them appropriately chastised and reminded that they serve at our pleasure.

  • I have seen zero response from Keith Perry or Chuck Clemons in this issue. Last time I called about the issues with Alachua County commissioners and city commissioners I was told “they were monitoring the situation” I’m beginning to think our representatives don’t seem to be interested in local affairs.

  • We all have a god given right to speak & breathe without a mask. Don’t let the Devil take it away…

    • No offence meant, but the word in the Declaration in Unalienable. The distinction is important.

      • By about 1645, inalienable was a synonym for
        Unalienable and both can be used…they mean the same….look it up.

        • Thomas Jefferson penned inalienable first, John Adams changed it to unalienable later…

          • Unfortunately in today’s environment, illegal aliens be able to come in and have all the rights Americans and legal immigrants will have.

            Please someone explain to me how an immigrant can come in from our southern border without proof of a
            negative Covid test but you as an American citizen can’t fly between states
            without a negative test.

            Welcome to the Progressives view of the new United States of America

  • …they are redistributing our
    Hard earned wealth by the recent added 3 trillion$ in
    Printed $ added to our $ supply because of covid
    Relief…the forces that be want to destroy the US
    Constitution and individual rights…they want a global
    Reset, don’t want US$ being world reserve currency,
    Take away guns, universal basic income.
    Covid is a fake. It’s just a flu…MSM is propaganda
    Machine…new world order, agenda 21…
    Masks do nothing and people are wearing them as
    A fashion statement or to let you know they are a
    Communist…

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