Over the weekend, Florida Governor DeSantis vehemently condemned the horrific, racially-motivated murders in Jacksonville near Edward Waters University.
Governor DeSantis announced an initial, immediate award of $1 million through the Volunteer Florida Foundation to bolster campus security at Edward Waters University in addition to an award of $100,000 to help the impacted families of this tragedy.
“We are not going to allow our HBCUs to be targets for hateful scumbags,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I’ve directed my administration to use every resource available to ensure the Edward Waters campus is safe following this shooting and to help the impacted families as they mourn their loved ones.”
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Authorities said Ryan Christopher Palmeter attempted Saturday to park at the university but was refused entry. A short time later, he drove to the Dollar General store, where he used an AR-15-style rifle to carry out what police said was a racially motivated shooting that killed an employee and two customers.
The $1 million will come from the Volunteer Florida Foundation. Also, DeSantis said $100,000 will go to help families of the victims, Angela Michelle Carr, 52, Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion, 29, and store employee Anolt Joseph Laguerre Jr., 19.
But Rep. Angie Nixon, D-Jacksonville, issued a statement criticizing DeSantis and saying his “track record speaks louder than his hollow words. We need actions, not publicity stunts. I urge the governor to do more than make empty gestures and call folks names. It’s time for him to truly reckon with the damage he has caused, to apologize for the harm he has inflicted, and to actively work towards undoing the racist system he’s helped uphold and grow.”
In statements Sunday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris said a federal civil-rights investigation has been opened and the shooting is being treated as a possible hate crime and an act of domestic violent extremism.
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“Even as we continue searching for answers, we must say clearly and forcefully that white supremacy has no place in America,” Biden 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.”
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