Florida Governor DeSantis Faces Accusations of Enabling Jacksonville Shooting in Heated Exchange with Veteran

Republican Presidential hopeful and Florida Governor DeSantis Under Mounting Pressure following the deadly Jacksonville shooting.

DeSantis Was Blamed for a Racially Motivated Deadly Jacksonville Attack

During the recent news conference in Jacksonville, where DeSantis was supposed to talk about Florida’s efforts to fight COVID-related mandates, he was blamed for a racially motivated deadly attack.

An African American veteran who sat in the back of the room told DeSantis that although he appreciated the Florida governor’s military service, he thought DeSantis’ policies allowed “immature people” to access weapons that ultimately “caused the deaths of the people who were murdered a couple weeks ago.”

“I’m Not Going To Let You Accuse Me of Committing Criminal Activity”

“I’m not going to let you accuse me of committing criminal activity. I am not going to take that,” DeSantis snapped in response in the video of the encounter which was posted online by multiple news outlets.

“You have allowed people to hunt people like me,” the man said, referring to DeSantis’ policies.

“Oh, that is nonsense. That is such nonsense,” DeSantis replied, as the audience’s disapproval could be heard in the video of the conference published online.

The man was escorted out of the room after the heated exchange ended.

DeSantis Had To Attend a Vigil a Day After the Attack

DeSantis talked about his commitment to public safety, highlighting the fact that many Americans have moved to the Sunshine State in recent years.

African Americans in Florida and many states across the country are increasingly unhappy about DeSantis’ actions and rhetoric ahead of the deadly shooting that claimed the lives of three African American people.

DeSantis had to attend a vigil a day after the attack.

“Gov. DeSantis Has Created and Pushed a Narrative of Division and Hate That Is Anti-Black”

Rev. Jeffrey Rumlin, pastor of The Dayspring Church in Jacksonville, where three Black people were gunned down at a Dollar General store, criticized DeSantis for not openly describing the killer as “a racist” at a Sunday vigil in Jacksonville.

“Gov. DeSantis has created and pushed a narrative of division and hate that is anti-Black,” said Rumlin.

Some Democrats have also accused DeSantis of creating an environment that contributed to the shooting, including loosening gun laws, banning “critical race theory” in schools, and changing how the state teaches Black History, most recently.

“We Are Not Going To Let People Be Targeted Based on Their Race”

DeSantis was booed at the vigil, even though he called the shooter “a major-league scumbag.”

“We are not going to let people be targeted based on their race,” DeSantis said.

The NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), whose goal is to advance justice for African Americans, issued a travel advisory this spring warning Black people to use “extreme care” if traveling to Florida.

DeSantis Is Trying To Gain the Republican Nomination

DeSantis, trying to gain the Republican nomination, had to stop his campaign and travel to the Sunshine State to address the deadly Jacksonville shooting and later manage preparations for Tropical Storm Idalia.

DeSantis is one of the many Republicans trying to get the nomination. While he is often seen as the strongest candidate to take on Donald Trump, he still lags behind the former President in a distant second place.

Trump Has Nearly Doubled His Lead Over DeSantis

Trump has maintained a strong lead over DeSantis. In the five months since April, he has nearly doubled his lead over DeSantis, according to the report published by Vanity Fair.

According to a recently published Wall Street Journal poll, the former President, who is currently facing four criminal indictments, is the top choice of nearly 6 in 10 GOP primary voters.

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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrew Cline. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

Source: Politico