Pro-Gun Ron DeSantis Slammed After Tactless Speech at Vigil for Florida Shooting Victims: 'He Should Be Booed Everywhere'

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Aug. 28 2023, Published 1:58 p.m. ET

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Ron DeSantis was heckled during his speech at a prayer vigil for three Black victims of a racially motivated shooting.

Hundreds of Floridians gathered to honor the lives of Angela Michelle Carr, 52, Anolt Joseph Laguerre Jr., 19, and Jarrald De'Shaun Gallion, 29, after they were brutally killed by a 21-year-old man named Ryan Palmeter in Jacksonville, Flo., last week.

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Jacksonville Sherriff's Office's photo of shooter Ryan Palmeter.

Prior to the horrific attack, Palmeter armed himself with a handgun and an AR-15 rifle — which had reportedly been covered with swastikas — and left behind racist manifestos that revealed revealed he "hated Black people."

Palmeter took his own life as police arrived on the scene.

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Ron DeSantis previously fought for Florida citizens to be able to legally carry concealed guns without a permit.

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"The fact of the matter is, you know, you had a major league scumbag come from Clay County up here, and what he did, what he did is totally unacceptable in the state of Florida," DeSantis said on Sunday night, August 27.

"We are not going to let people be targeted based on their race," he continued. "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."

Throughout the speech, some of the people watching shouted out sentiments like, "you're not welcome here" and "your policies caused this!"

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DeSantis has also supported education-related policies that critics deemed racist and homophobic.

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As the clip of the crowd jeering at DeSantis made its rounds on social media, critics slammed the controversial Florida governor for his tactless words.

"He starts - at a vigil - with 'thank you for having this'?! He truly has no people skills," one user wrote, while another pointed out, "DeSantis has been loud and consistent with his WAR ON WOKE which includes removing African-American studies as a legitimate field of study."

"Excellent and appropriate response. He should be booed everywhere," another X user penned, and a fourth chimed in, "I hope Ron DeSantis gets booed everywhere he goes for the rest of his life."

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This is far from the first time DeSantis has been called out for his history of being pro-gun and supporting "insensitive, discriminatory, and racist policies" throughout his stint as governor.

"[His] Efforts to erase Black history by eliminating diversity, equity and inclusion programs and Advanced Placement African American studies courses in Florida schools, is a vivid reminder that our work in the vanguard for social justice in America continues," Reuben A. Shelton III, leader of Kappa Alpha Psi, which is one of the oldest Black fraternities in the country, said in a statement earlier this year. "These actions compel us to work harder to protect the legacy of those who struggled and died to make a 'More Perfect Union.'"


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