PINAC reporter Jeff Gray believes Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers were the ones who had him ejected from a press conference where Governor Rick Scott was going to brag a .1 percentage reduction in the state’s unemployment rate last week.
After all, the FDLE has not only been monitoring him for years through the Florida Fusion Center, Gray was initially welcomed into the press conference along with the rest of the St. Augustine media on November 18.
But that was before Scott’s FDLE security detail arrived at Ideal Aluminum Products and began sizing him up.
“There was a woman eyeballing me, speaking into her phone,” Gray said. “They then walked up to me and told me to leave.”
He then was ordered to leave by the two owners of the company, one who had initially agreed to be interviewed by him after the press conference.
Gray, who attended the event on assignment for Stringr Media, was singled out from dozens of other media representatives because his PINAC press credentials were not on their list.
“We’ve been polite with you. We’re going to continue to be polite with you,” Siegel said.
“We’re gonna do whatever we have to–we’ve asked you three or four times to move. If you don’t do it, we’ll take whatever steps we have to to have you removed. This is private property.”
“I understand it’s private property. But you guys are having a public event here,” Gray replied.
“It’s not a public event,” insists Douglas Brady. “We’re here to talk about our jobs with our company. We don’t own you an explanation. We’re asking you very politely to leave.”
“Have you called the law enforcement?” asks Gray.
“We’re about to,” replies Brady.
“Well, you guys call law enforcement. If they officially trespass me I’ll leave under protest and duress. And you should be ashamed of yourselves. You really should.”
Gray asks Brady and Siegel for their names as they walk away.
“Can I have your name?”
“Why not? Are you a coward? Are you to afraid to tell me what your names are? Stand by what you’re saying. ”
Michael Siegel turns around and responds, “you can look it up on the internet.”
As Gray’s video concludes, he assures Siegel and Brady, “I’ll make sure that his is put out there and exposed that you guys are going to have Governor Rick Scott here.”
“Yeah,” Brady agrees.
“And I’m just here to cover it for a local news media outlet, and you guys are kicking me off the property. This is disgusting behavior. It really is. You should be ashamed of yourselves. You should really be ashamed of yourselves.”
“Shame on you.”
Gray then called video activist and journalist JC Playford, who joined him outside the company where they tried to follow Governor Scott’s motorcade to the airport to attempt to get video footage of him boarding the plane, footage he would easily have sold on Stringr.
But as you will see in the second part of the video below, they tried to prevent them from following the governor by refusing to drive through the green light, allowing the governor to be on his way while Gray and Playford remained trapped several cars behind.