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FHP: Expect Temporary Closure Of Highways Near Downtown Due To Expected Protests

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The Florida Highway Patrol is advising South Florida drivers that Interstate 95, Interstate 395, and Interstate 195 will experience possible delays and periodic closures throughout the weekend due to the third week of demonstrations and police activity.

FHP also reminds protesters that they do not encourage them or "media members" to walk on any Interstate highways or adjoining ramps "due to the dangerous safety hazards to themselves and motorists."

They mentioned a couple of Florida statutes in an email received by CBS4:

"F.S.S. 316.091 Limited Access Facilities; Interstate highways; use restricted – defines the unlawful restrictions for non-authorized traffic that is incompatible with the safe and expedient movement of traffic on Interstate highways.

F.S.S. 316.072 Obedience to and Effect of Traffic Law; Obedience to Police Officials – defines it is unlawful for any person willfully to fail or comply with any lawful order or direction of a law enforcement officer. It is a misdemeanor of the second degree and an arrestable offense."

FHP said, "We expect demonstrators, media members, and the public to obey these statutes. failure to do so will subject an individual to arrest upon being given a lawful order."

In an email sent to FHP on Saturday morning, Rick Hirsch, Managing Editor of the Miami Herald, said that on Friday evening -- during a protest on the highway -- an FHP trooper, "who appeared to be in charge began yelling at them (Herald reporter David Ovalle) Media! They can protest. You cannot be up here! You're inciting it! You come up here again and you will be arrested."

Hirsh continued to say, "I want to state clearly that journalists have a right to be present to cover these events without threat of arrest, and we object strongly to how this situation was handled last night. Suggesting we were in some way "inciting" the confrontation is false, Covering these events as they happen is in the public interest."

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