Rick Scott Declares State of Emergency in Advance of Richard Spencer Florida Event

Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks to reporters following his meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, September 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Governor Scott met with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Scott visited Puerto Rico on Thursday and met with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello and other officials from the U.S. territory. / Getty Images

Rick Scott / Getty Images

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Gov. Rick Scott (R., Fla.) has declared a state of emergency for areas of Florida in preparation for white nationalist Richard Spencer speaking at the University of Florida.

Scott issued an executive order that a "threat of a potential emergency is imminent" in Alachua County to aid law enforcement agencies in their response to rallies planned for Thursday, the Washington Post reported.

Spencer led the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va. that resulted in violence between white supremacists, their supporters and counter-protesters, including the death of a woman.

A state of emergency was declared after the violence broke out in Charlottesville.

In the wake of the violence there, the University of Florida initially told Spencer he could not hold an event he had planned on campus. After his supporters and a lawyer questioned the decision on First Amendment grounds, Spencer was ultimately allowed to schedule his speech for this Thursday.

The university intends to spend $500,000 on security.

Scott has activated the Florida National Guard to help with security and has spoken with the county's sheriff multiple times over the past weekend.

"We’re not being alarmist. But we want to be prepared," Sheriff Sadie Darnell said.

Conor Beck

Conor Beck   Email Conor | Full Bio | RSS
Conor Beck is a Media Analyst for the WFB. He's previously written for The College Fix, Life News, and was a Student Free Press Association Fellow for The Weekly Standard. He graduated from Rice University in 2017.

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