After Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R) posted a tweet directed at “protesters,” which contained a picture of an AR-15 rifle and an attached note that these rifles “will be a very common sight upon illegal entry at any Lake County business,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) penned a letter to Republican leaders in the Florida House of Representatives asking them to admonish Sabatini for “encouraging armed violence against protestors.”
Fried called Sabatini’s tweet “outrageously irresponsible and reckless,” but her accusation of the Florida lawmaker and one of her previous tweets she could instead be seen as being “irresponsible and reckless.”
“Attention potential “protesters” coming near Lake County, FL. This is an AR-15—this will be a very common sight upon illegal entry at any Lake County business—FYI!”- Rep. Anthony Sabatini
Sabatini’s tweet could be perceived as a warning to “protestors” or rioters who illegally enter a business in Lake County, that they could face an armed defense by small business owners if they choose to break Florida law.
Sabatini did not direct anyone to pro-actively assault protestors.
On Saturday, May 30, when riots began to sweep the nation, Fried tweeted an exaggerated response to an Associated Press report that a truck barreled through an intersection in Tallahassee, and caused demonstrators to disperse.
Here is what the AP stated:
"BREAKING: A pickup truck drove through an intersection where protesters were demonstrating in Tallahassee, Florida, causing people to run screaming out of the way. The mayor said there were no serious injuries"
Here is Fried’s tweet:
Tear gas. Driving over protestors. Firing on crowds.
That these are happening is not only a sign that things are wrong, but also that things were never right.
— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) May 31, 2020
The truck in question did not drive over protestors.
In looking at both of her Twitter accounts, Fried has yet to denounce the violence and looting being carried out in Florida and around the country.
Just yesterday, House Democratic leaders denounced all of the rioting and violence, including the shooting of police officers around the country.
Where is Nikki Fried’s outrage over the violence?
Attention potential “protesters” coming near Lake County, FL. This is an AR-15—this will be a very common sight upon illegal entry at any Lake County business—FYI! pic.twitter.com/G72q26YDww
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) May 31, 2020