Florida’s Ron DeSantis was savagely booed off the podium at a vigil he attended for three black people killed at a Dollar Store during a racist mass shooting.
The Governor, 44, was called out by local councilmembers before taking to the mic himself and was met with overwhelming negativity from the crowd – as one heckler shouted: ‘Your policies caused this!’
The vigil that DeSantis spoke at occurred on Sunday next to the Dollar General where three black residents were killed by a gunman – who had no criminal history.
Ryan Palmeter, 21, armed with an AR-15 covered in Nazi swastikas, shot dead three people in a racially-motivated attack in Jacksonville, before turning the gun on himself just days ago.
The victims were 52-year-old Angela Michelle Carr, 19-year-old Anolt Joseph ‘A.J.’ Laguerre Jr. and 29-year-old Jarrald De’Shawn Gallion.
The Governor was called out by local councilmembers before taking to the mic himself and being met with overwhelming negativity – as one heckler shouted: ‘Your policies caused this!’
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis attends a prayer vigil, a day after a white man armed with a high-powered rifle and a handgun killed three Black people at a Dollar General store
Councilwoman Ju’Coby Pittman called for better state funding before DeSantis took to the stage: ‘Let’s be honest, we don’t get the money we should get.
‘But when I ask for some money this week, we gonna get it.’
Pittman then looked to the community leaders in the audience, including Sheriff T.K. Waters, who called Saturday’s shooting racially motivated.
The councilwoman added: ‘I’m proud of what you did yesterday. Because guess what, you called a spade a spade.
‘We cannot continue to hide behind. We cannot have someone come from another county, and shoot up this community. It ain’t no black-on-black crime. It’s a hate crime.’
Pittman then addressed DeSantis, who was sitting in the crowd: ”Governor, I know you here. In order to make a difference, you gotta see it up close in personal.’
DeSantis went to the podium and started speaking – but his presence was met with boos.
He was heckled at the vigil, before the councilwoman stepped in to tame the crowd
The vigil that DeSantis spoke at occurred on Sunday next to the Dollar General where three black residents were killed by a gunman – who had no criminal history
Palmeter, wearing a tactical vest, shot and killed 19-year-old Anolt Joseph ‘A.J.’ Laguerre Jr., and 29-year-old Jarrald De’Shawn Gallion inside the store
Ryan Palmeter, 21, is seen opening fire on Saturday outside a Dollar General in Jacksonville
He said: ‘Councilwoman, I gotcha, don’t worry about it. We’ve already been looking to identify funds to be able to help one, security at Edward Waters College.
‘We are not going to allow these institutions to be targeted by people-‘
The Gov was shut off, as the councilwoman tried to silence the negativity from the crowd by saying: ‘It ain’t about parties today. A bullet don’t know a party.’
DeSantis then continued: ‘We’re going to be announcing some stuff tomorrow morning which I think will help, not only with security, but also an attempt to help these families.
‘What he did was totally unacceptable in the state of Florida.
‘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 that evil does not triumph in the state of Florida.’
Sheriff Waters said about the gunman: ‘There was no criminal record, nothing,’ adding the only thing on file was a domestic violence call with his brother. ‘There were no red flags.’
Joe Biden noted that the shooting came on the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, and added: ‘Even as we continue searching for answers, we must say clearly and forcefully that white supremacy has no place in America.’
The president said he and his wife were grieving for the victims.
Victims Jerrald Gallion, 29 and Angela Michelle Carr
‘On Saturday, our nation marked the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington — a seminal moment in our history and in our work towards equal opportunity for all Americans,’ he said in a statement.
‘But this day of remembrance and commemoration ended with yet another American community wounded by an act of gun violence, reportedly fueled by hate-filled animus and carried out with two firearms.’
He said a federal civil rights investigation has been launched, and officials are treating the shooting as a possible hate crime and act of domestic violent extremism.
‘Even as we continue searching for answers, we must say clearly and forcefully that white supremacy has no place in America,’ he said.
‘We must refuse to live in a country where Black families going to the store or Black students going to school live in fear of being gunned down because of the color of their skin. Hate must have no safe harbor. Silence is complicity and we must not remain silent.’