Businessman banned from Fort Pierce City Hall

Man is frequent critic of police department

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Resident Rick Reed filed a harassment complaint against the Fort Pierce police chief in September.

“It hasn’t stopped. They continue to come here, they continue to do the things I stated before," said Reed Tuesday outside the diner he owns.

Reed has been a frequent critic of the department, and claims associates of Chief Diane Hobley-Burney tried to set him up to be arrested after September’s city council meeting.

Annette Brown claimed that night Reed said nasty things to her. She obtained body camera video from a police officer interviewing her after what Brown claimed was a confrontation with Reed where he said nasty things to her.

“With a mouth like that, someone need to clear it or wash it out or something like that," is heard on the video.

“It seems like because of the positive I can talk about the Fort Pierce Police Department, it irritates him," said Brown, referring to Reed.

Brown also claimed Reed followed her to her car. In the police interview, Brown tells the officer 'He's trying to intimidate me and put me in a box where I can't come to the commission meeting and talk?'"

“She doesn’t know me and I don’t know her so I don’t know how she would be afraid of me," said Reed.

Reed took a still shot of the surveillance video from city hall that night showing he and Brown leaving the meeting. He says there’s nothing suggesting an altercation here.

“The guard is waving good night to the lady and to myself and both of us are saying good night back," said Reed.

Reed says over the weekend, a process server sent him a trespassing notice, banning him from city hall. A previous letter dated Sept. 29, said he could only be there with an escort.

“It’s demeaning, it’s insulting and it’s a violation of my first amendment rights," said Reed.

We reached out to the city to find out the status of Reed’s complaint but have yet to hear back.  At the time it was filed, the police chief called Reed’s claims of intimidation a “figment of his imagination.” Reed says he does plan to file suit in federal court against the city and the police department.  

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