Special prosecutor tapped for Ben Frazier trespassing case
Charges against Ben Frazier were quickly, and quietly, dropped. Image via Twitter.

A lawyer on loan from the 7th Circuit will take over.

It appears that prosecution of a man accused of trespassing at a Gov. Ron DeSantis press conference may move forward after all.

The Governor’s Office denied the request of 4th Circuit State Attorney Melissa Nelson to recuse her office from the case of Ben Frazier, so a compromise was reached.

DeSantis General Counsel Ryan Newman wrote Nelson on Jan. 14 denying the request for executive assignment on the grounds that members of the Governor’s Office were “directly involved” in the circumstances of the case.

Newman contended that the “ends of justice would not be served” if the Governor’s Office exercised such discretion. However, 7th Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza worked with Nelson’s office to identify a special prosecutor, David Ray Smith, who has “full authority” to decide whether there is a case to be prosecuted.

Nelson had appealed for reassignment of the case based on her office’s “relationship with Mr. Frazier.”

“In his capacity as a community activist, Mr. Frazier has routinely called upon our office to take certain actions related to investigations and other pending criminal cases. At times, Mr. Frazier has acted in the role of advocate, and other times, concerned citizen, and still at other times, adversary. Members of our office and I have both hosted and attended multiple meetings with Mr. Frazier. Indeed, over the last 18 months, our office has been engaged in dialogue with Mr. Frazier — at his invitation — to address various criminal justice issues unique to our community,” a previous letter to the Governor’s Office read.

This story got national attention when the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office walked the mobility-challenged Frazier out of the room in handcuffs after staffers for both the Governor and the Duval County Office of the Florida Department of Health failed to persuade Frazier and those with him to leave.

Officers brought Frazier to ground level and put him in the back of a police car while Frazier’s supporters looked on. He was not taken to the Duval County Jail, but he was detained throughout the Governor’s remarks.

Frazier’s first court appearance is slated for Jan. 26.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    January 20, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    The office of the Governor seems to know alot about this case even if Ronnie does not…ostrich in the sand syndrome. Interestingly Melissa Nelson & the SAO have alot of “dialogue” with Mr. Frazier while the Governor would rather maintain radio silence.

  • Conservative

    January 20, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Melissa Nelson is so weak, afraid of Uncle Ben. Justice needs to served. Ben Frazier needs to serve time.

  • Justice for all

    January 22, 2022 at 12:38 am

    I have contacted the 7th judicial circuit with videos of Mr. Frazier acting like a fool at the press conference. Lock him up

    • Frankie M.

      January 22, 2022 at 1:58 am

      If acting like a fool at a press conference were a crime Ronnie would’ve been locked up a long time ago. See what I did there?

      • Tom

        January 22, 2022 at 9:04 pm

        You did nothing.
        He’s a pathetic paid hack.
        The local DA didn’t want to pursue charges. She tried to dump it in Govs lap, no can do. It’s appropriate to have it locally assigned. Frazier abused the process. No one gets to crash the party. To bad Frankie, you are wrong. Typical liberal hate clouds judgement.
        Save it.

  • Paul

    January 24, 2022 at 8:23 am

    Heavy hands and the attempt to silence a black man who is mobility challenged, the typical cowardly acts of the fascist right.

    • Tom

      January 24, 2022 at 8:06 pm

      The extremist left knows how to present the package.
      Memo to Paul, Frankie, and all liberal Manchurians. Get a life.
      Total fake news, set up likely from Nikki fraud, she’s a total mental case. You do the crime. U gotta do the time. I saw it It live. He was belligerent, he was asked to leave multiple times. He came for confrontation he got it.

Comments are closed.


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