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DeSantis Hecklers Silenced After Black Councilwoman Grabs the Mic and Chews Them Out

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Ju’Coby Pittman — a Democratic member of the Jacksonville, Florida, City Council — stepped in to stop hecklers from booing GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a prayer vigil Sunday for the three victims of an apparently racially motivated shooting the previous day.

On Saturday, 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter shot and killed Angela Michelle Carr, 52, Anolt Joseph Laguerre Jr., 19, and Jerrald Gallion, 29 at a Dollar General store in Pittman’s Jacksonville district, according to police.

The shooter took his own life when officers arrived on the scene, authorities said.

CNN reported that Palmeter, who was white, had left behind racist writings and had painted swastikas on his AR-15-style rifle. He had worked at a Dollar General store from October 2021 to July 2022, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters told the news outlet.

Prior to opening fire at the Jacksonville store, Palmeter had gone to the campus of the historically black Edward Waters University, where campus security confronted him after a student had reported him as someone who looked out of place, police said.

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Palmeter then drove away from the campus.

DeSantis announced at Sunday’s prayer vigil that the state of Florida would provide Edward Waters University with $1 million toward enhancing its security.

“Councilwoman, I gotcha, don’t worry about it,” the 2024 GOP presidential candidate said to Pittman. “We’ve already been looking to identify funds to be able to help, one, make sure there’s adequate security for Edward Waters College. We are not going to allow these institutions to be targeted by people. We –”

People at the event, who had begun heckling DeSantis from the moment he went to the microphone, grew louder as he continued to speak.

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Pittman then stepped forward, saying to the governor, “Hold on.”

“We’re fixin’ to put parties aside because it ain’t about parties today,” the councilwoman said. “A bullet don’t know a party. So don’t get me started.”

“Now if the governor wanted to come here and he’s bringing gifts to my community, y’all know I’m taking the gifts, because we’ve been through enough already,” Pittman said.

“Y’all be quiet for just a minute and let the governor say what he’s going to say, and we’re going to get this party started. You hear me?” she asked.

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The crowd quieted down.

“We’re going to be announcing some stuff tomorrow morning, which I think will help not only with security but also an attempt to help these families,” DeSantis said.

“You had a major league scumbag come from Clay County [just south of Jacksonville] up here. And what he did … is totally unacceptable in the state of Florida,” the governor said.

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

The Republican reiterated his support for keeping historically black colleges and universities safe.

“Let me tell you this: You are not going to target HBCUs in the state of Florida and get away with it,” he said. “We’re going to hold you accountable. We’re not going to let it happen.”

DeSantis is second to former President Donald Trump in the GOP presidential primary race, according to the RealClearPolitics polling averages. The governor was at 13.1 percent Tuesday to 53.9 percent for Trump.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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