roe v wade

Video Shows 13-Year-Old Girl Arrested During Florida Abortion Rights Protest

The child was arrested for using a megaphone while protesting the overturn of Roe v. Wade with her mother

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A social media video shows a 13-year-old girl being arrested by Lakeland police after she used a megaphone during a pro-abortion rights protest.

The protest, held at Munn Park in Lakeland on July 4, was described by the child's mother and attorney as "peaceful."

"We had people share their stories about how overturning Roe v. Wade affected them and how they feel that the decision is wrong," said the girl's mother, Lauren Johnson, in a viral TikTok video. "They were standing up and using microphones."

According to Johnson, the officers became frustrated with the use of microphones and megaphones and turned their attention to the young girl who was at the forefront of the rally.

"[My child] had a bullhorn, and she was screaming 'my body my choice,'" Johnson said in the video. "When [the officers] came around the corner, they decided that they were going to make her the target and arrest her."

The child, seen draped in an LGBTQ Pride flag as two officers escorted her out of the protest, is being charged with a second-degree misdemeanor for a noise ordinance violation.

According to David Haas, the attorney defending the child, the charges are in relation to Florida's recently enacted noise ordinance law that went into effect July 1.

"We don't think that the megaphone is applicable to the ordinance and so we'll be looking into that, about whether or not it was even appropriate for the arrest," Haas said.

As is shown in the video, the officers escorted the girl to their vehicle as she became visibly upset. Behind her, the girl's mother yelled "Don't resist!" and "Mom's right behind you! You're okay!"

The attorney said once the young girl arrived at the police station, she was held for over an hour and was not allowed to see her mother. According to Johnson, the child was questioned without a parent present, which is a violation of her rights.

The girl was released from the station with a summon to appear in court on Aug. 9. Immediately after her release, the child and her mother returned to the protest.

"Anytime a child is brought into a very adult limelight, it's difficult — but they are a strong family," Haas said. "We're confident that the outcome will be good."

In the wake of the arrest, Haas said that the young girl is "holding up."

Via social media, the girl's mother has said that the family "will not be silenced" and plans to attend another rally later this week.

"We will be at the protest Thursday with a new bullhorn," Johnson said.

NBC 6 reached out to the Lakeland Police Department for comment, we have yet to hear back.

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