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Yesterday, Dec. 10, 2016, arrests were made at Sabal Trail river crossing sites of the Santa Fe River and at a construction yard at 72nd Trace in Live Oak. Josh Peebles, a Navy veteran from Jacksonville was arrested for jaywalking. This carried a misdemeanor charge and he was soon released.
The Santa Fe crossing site was not a protest, but simply an educational photographic drive-by. No laws were broken but one car driver, K C Cavanaugh was arrested, allegedly for obstructing an officer of the law, a Gilchrist County patrolman.
According to videos taken by witnesses, Ms. Cavanaugh was stopped and asked to display her driver’s license. When she asked what she had done, the officer ordered her out of the car and promptly arrested her. Upon leaving, the officer was heard to say that Ms. Cavanaugh refused to obey his orders and obstructed him from his duties. Witnesses refuted this and said it was untrue.
The videos do not show any resistance or likely cause for arrest, which prompts the question as to why this incident happened. From what is known at this point, this incident crosses the line of abuse of power, and surely does not convey the image of the Gilchrist County police that they might choose to have. To the contrary, it promotes a picture of inappropriate and inexcusable bullying with no apparent reason, a situation Gilchrist County might want to take steps to contain.
Luckily, this incident was well documented, not only by friends of the arrest victim, but also by five members of the press. We have not yet seen their reporting but we look forward to it. The people of Florida should be aware of what is happening in Gilchrist County regarding Sabal Trail pipeline.
We are very grateful to the many people who are risking arrest in order to protest the destruction caused by Sabal Trail.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-