PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) – A group of protesters gathered outside a courthouse in Plantation to take a stand against mask mandates, as a hearing was held for the people who were cited for parading through a Target store last year.
7News cameras captured demonstrators chanting and holding up signs outside of the Broward County Government Center West, Friday afternoon.
Video of the September 2020 demonstration at a Target location in Fort Lauderdale went viral.
Chris Nelson and his girlfriend, Nicole Struelens, joined several others in removing their facial coverings and walking across the store while encouraging shoppers to do the same.
“Who here is sick and tired of having to wear one of these things every time you go into a store?” Nelson is heard saying in the video moments before they enter the large retailer.
“It’s all about choice. Yeah, take it off! You don’t need it,” a woman inside the store is heard saying in the video.
The demonstrators said they received citations.
“Within about two weeks, we ended up getting $100 citations from Broward County,” said Nelson.
Friday was their day in court, but not before another demonstration took place outside the county building where their hearing was held.
“We’re standing up today against these unconstitutional, immoral and completely unnecessary mask mandates,” said Nelson.
Nelson argued his citation was nullified when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said counties could no longer collect fines for not wearing masks.
The hearing officer disagreed.
“I’m going to be appealing this,” said Nelson.
Struelens showed up with a doctor’s notice that states she has a medical condition.
“Including blacking out, loss of vision, horrific migraines. My last migraine lasted 48 hours,” she said.
Her citation was dropped.
“That’s a victory for people everywhere who have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask,” said Nelson.
Nelson was fined $125. He said he will not be paying it.
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