Authorities determine racist attack
Unfortunately, White America and its ideology struck again, this time costing three African Americans their lives. On Saturday, Aug. 26 Ryan Palmeter opened fire at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Fla. killing patrons Angela Michelle Carr, store employee A.J. Laguerre, and Jerrald Gallion, 29. Palmeter killed himself after killing the victims.
The suspect was armed with a Glock Pistol and an AR-15 fueled with hatred towards Black people in a statement by police. “We have three people who are dead because they are Black,” Democratic state lawmaker Tracie Davis said at a vigil the next day. The outrageous outcry from the community has been loud and filled with sorrow, confusion, and anger as everybody from politics to police officers, to the Black community and the families of the victims.
“The division has to stop, the hate has to stop, the rhetoric has to stop,” Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan told fellow mourners. “We are all the same flesh, blood, and bones, and we should treat each other that way.”
One of the more shocking aspects was what Palmeter did the morning before the tragic shooting. Palmeter left his home in Clay County around 11:39 a.m. and headed to Jacksonville in Duval County. He stopped at Edward Waters University, a historically black college, wearing a bulletproof vest. A student noticed and was able to flag down campus security, which prompted security to follow him around until he left campus at 12:58 p.m. They then flagged down a deputy and filed a police report.
“We don’t know obviously what his full intentions were, but we do know that he came here right before going to the Dollar General,” Dr. A. Zachary Faison Jr., the president and CEO of Edward Waters University, told CNN. “Members of our university security team reacted almost immediately. I think the reports are in less than 30 seconds after he made contact and drove onto our campus.”
At 1:08 p.m., Palmeter shot at a black Kia in the parking lot, killing Carr. He then entered the store and shot Laguerre, an employee of Dollar General. The first 911 call came through at 1:09 p.m., moments before Gallion walked into the store. Palmeter fatally shot Gallion and chased after another person, whom he shot at but did not hit, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said.
Florida state Rep. Angie Nixon holds state Governor Ron DeSantis responsible for the racist attack on the black community because of his recent actions and hate speech as the killer left a racist manifesto behind.
“He has had an attack, an all-out attack on the Black community with his anti-woke policies, which we know very well was nothing more than a dog whistle to get folks up and riled up in the way in which it just happened yesterday. As I listened to him for the first time with that statement, my blood was boiling,” Nixon said.
Nixon also referred to Desantis 2018 “Monkey this up” remark that he made toward Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum, who is Black. “We have Republican leadership across this state doing everything to attack Black lives. They are doing everything to erase Black history.” Nixon said as she spoke on the attacks on the black community since Desantis took office. “They are feeding our children propaganda. All that does is lead to the devaluation of Black lives.”
The governor 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.
This article is a part of a series of articles for Our Weekly’s #StopTheHate campaign and is supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. #NoPlaceForHateCA,