(USNewsMag.com) – Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was met with heckling and booing when he made an appearance at a vigil on Sunday for the victims of a recent shooting in Jacksonville.
DeSantis said he was looking to find funding for Edward Waters University, a historically black college, to increase security after it was revealed the gunman who shot three people at a Dollar General showed up at the school first. Heckling and booing continued as DeSantis said that Florida would not “allow these institutions to be targeted.”
The governor was able to finish his remarks after a local councilwoman pleaded with the crowd to hear him out and put political parties to one side. DeSantis said “the fact of the matter is” that “a major league scumbag” did something that “is totally unacceptable” in Florida and that the state would not “let people be targeted based on their race.
The shooting happened last Saturday, and the perpetrator, Ryan Palmeter, was armed with a rifle and handgun. The 21-year-old killed himself after the incident and left behind messages for family, the media, and police, citing racial hatred as his motivation for the attack.
DeSantis vowed to “stand up” and “make sure that evil does not triumph” in the Sunshine State by working with the university to make sure they have as much “security as they need. During a Monday news conference about the oncoming tropical storm Idalia, he announced that $1 million would be allocated to Edward Waters University for more campus security.
Democrats and the political left have been sharply critical of DeSantis over many of his policies, especially in education. DeSantis banned critical race theory (CRT) from being taught in public schools and received backlash from black Floridians for new parts of the state curriculum that teach that some slaves benefited from their conditions by learning useful skills they could later apply after being freed.
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