Why was there a cop outside Artiles’ Miami home Friday?

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On Friday state Sen. Frank Artiles resigned from the Florida Legislature after a scandal over his use of a flurry of racial slurs and insults to refer to fellow lawmakers at a Tallahassee bar.

Down in South Florida, a police cruiser was parked across the street from his southwest Miami-Dade home, and when a reporter went to knock on Artiles’ door, an officer emerged from his car and said the former senator wasn’t giving any interviews.

Why was there a cop outside the former senator’s home?

It turns out the police presence was the result of a watch order requested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after a previous protest at Artiles’ home, Miami-Dade police said.

Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said that anyone can request the order and it was an effort to keep the street clear and traffic moving.

“We knew that protesters had gone to his house and media trucks had blocked the roadway,” Zabaleta said.

Once Artiles officially resigned from office the police presence was called away, Zabaleta said, although one cruiser, driven by officer Orlando Fleites, remained across the street from the house at about noon Friday.

Artiles never emerged from the house, but two trucks were parked outside including one sporting a state legislator tag.

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