Veteran Confronts DeSantis: Blames Him for Tragic Racist Shootings

Toni Koraza

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis got into a heated altercation with a spectator who accused him of being responsible for the recent racist shooting spree that left three Black persons dead in Jacksonville.

The news conference intended to demonstrate Florida's defenses against Covid-related laws took a pugilistic turn when DeSantis invited a participant to address a question..

The man calmly addressed DeSantis from the back of the room, saying that despite being a veteran and appreciating DeSantis' military service, he believed the Florida governor's actions had given "immature people" access to firearms, which eventually "caused deaths of the people who were murdered couple weeks ago."

DeSantis cut him off, saying, "I'm not going to let you accuse me of committing criminal activity. I am not going to take that."

"You have allowed people to hunt people like me," the man continued.

"Oh, that is nonsense. That is such nonsense," DeSantis said.

Shortly later, the man was led out of the room. 

As the man left, DeSantis continued, telling the gathered crowd that Americans had come to Florida in part due to his administration's dedication to public safety.

In a statement in response to an internet video of the interaction, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida reiterated the man's remarks.

The racist shooting that left one person dead on August 26 brought to light much of the anger that Black communities in Florida and elsewhere have at the policies of the DeSantis administration, including eliminating diversity initiatives in schools and developing divisive standards for the teaching of race.

DeSantis received jeers during his remarks at a vigil for the shooting victims the day after the assault, displaying his fury.

 A local official had to stop DeSantis' address to quell the jeers because they were so loud. 

DeSantis, a candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, halted his campaigning on August 27 to return to Florida and deal with the aftermath of the killing in Jacksonville and the Hurricane Idalia preparations.

What's your take on the DeSantis altercation, gun access, and racial tensions in Florida?

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