DeSantis Visits Jacksonville After Racially-Motivated Murders, Promises to Fight Back

DeSantis Visits Jacksonville After Racially-Motivated Murders, Promises to Fight Back

Chris Nelson
Chris Nelson
August 28, 2023

Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis attended a prayer vigil for three people who were killed at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville yesterday. The shooter, Ryan Palmeter, drove across county lines to target Black people according to sheriff's report.

Angela Michelle Carr, 52; Jerrald Gallion, 29; and Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr., 19 were shot and killed by Palmeter at the Dollar General Store on Kings Road near Edward Waters University.

DeSantis spoke to an audience of about one hundred people for three minutes with his wife First Lady Casey DeSantis standing at his side.

"You had a major league scumbag come from Clay County up here. What he did is totally unacceptable in the state of Florida," said DeSantis to applause. "We are not going to let people be targeted based on their race. We are going to stand up and we are going to do what we need to do to make sure evil does not triumph in the State of Florida."

Jerrald Gallion, right, leaves behind a 4-year old daughter

DeSantis promised to improve safety at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Florida and said an announcement will be made tomorrow on that matter.

According to reports, Palmeter drove to Edward Waters University where he was asked to leave by a security guard. Palmeter complied and then drove to Dollar General where he shot and killed three people.

DeSantis was loudly heckled by members of the audience before and during his short speech.

Councilwoman Ju'Coby Pittman took the mic at one point to attempt to calm hecklers, telling them to put party politics aside.

"Put parties aside! A bullet don't know a party!" said Pittman to applause. "Let the Governor say what he want to say!"

"It has to be clear to anybody out there who is thinking about indulging in this type of hatred. We are not going to take it standing down. We are going to fight back against you," DeSantis told Investigative Reporter Jonathan Lee Riches after the vigil ended. "If you try to to show up at an H.B.C.U. to target people based on their race, you are not going to be successful. You are going to be met with a lot of firepower. We are not going to let evil triumph over good."

An H.B.C.U. is short for Historically Black College or University.

"For this guy to put on this tactical gear and drive from another county to come to this community to try to kill people because they are a different race than him, that is a coward. That is something that is totally pathetic," said DeSantis. "We are just not going to stand for it."

"We are united with this community," said DeSantis. "This is not going to be something we are just going to lie down for. We are going to fight back and this has no place in the State of Florida."

Democrat Representative Angie Nixon seemed to accuse DeSantis of culpability in the deaths.

"It’s the audacity for me. @GovRonDeSantis @RonDeSantis is here and needs to apologize for his part in this," posted Nixon next to a photo she apparently took of DeSantis at the vigil.

Yesterday, Nixon seemed to suggest the elimination of Diversity Equity and Inclusion programs may have played a role in the killings.

"When you say things like “Black People benefited from slavery,” that causes folks to devalue Black Lives. When you eliminate Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Programs, that allows racism and bigotry to proliferate and go uncheck," posted Nixon. The Florida curriculum on slavery was developed by Dr. William Allen, a Black man who descended from slaves and does not include the phrase quoted by Nixon.

Nixon went on to suggest that some of her House colleagues have been hospitalized due to the stress of working in the Legislature.

"Let me tell you this," posted Nixon. "It is traumatizing working in the Florida House of Representatives. The disrespect and rhetoric. The continual attacks on our communities. The many microaggressions. The gaslighting. It is stressful. It’s caused many of my BLACK colleagues to be hospitalized."

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Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson is a videographer and investigative reporter based in Fort Lauderdale. Chris covers breaking news, and local and state politics, and focuses on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. His work has been cited on Fox News and Epoch Times.

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