Florida Democrat: DeSantis has ‘blood on his hands’ after Jacksonville shooting

Florida state Rep. Angie Nixon (D) has issued a scathing rebuke of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s response to a white supremacist’s deadly rampage in Jacksonville this weekend. 

Nixon, who represents the Jacksonville district where the shooting happened, told MSNBC’s Yasmin Vossoughian on Sunday that DeSantis has been leading “an all-out attack on the Black community with his anti-woke policies” and because of this, the GOP presidential candidate is responsible for Saturday’s violence. 

“This is a governor who has done nothing but fan these types of happenings throughout our state,” Nixon said. “At the end of the day, the governor has blood on his hands.”

Nixon said that the policies DeSantis has been pushing have been “dog whistles to get folks up and riled up in the way in which it just happened.”

Ryan Christopher Palmeter, 21, opened fire in a Dollar General store Saturday afternoon, killing three people before shooting and killing himself. All three victims of the shooting were Black.

Palmeter, who was white, had written numerous racist manifestos ahead of the shooting, according to Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters.

DeSantis condemned the shooting, calling Palmeter a “deranged scumbag.” 

“Perpetrating violence of this kind is unacceptable, and targeting people due to their race has no place in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said Sunday.

But Nixon dismissed DeSantis’s statement by pointing out warnings she and other members of the state Legislature had given the governor over the last few years. 

“My blood is literally boiling. Myself and other representatives, particularly Black representatives, throughout the past few legislative sessions have repeatedly told him what his rhetoric was going to do and that is exactly what transpired on yesterday,” Nixon said. “This is absurd. It’s ridiculous. He is one of the causes to this. This is an agenda that he has been pushing since he gets gotten into office. He showed us who he was when he initially ran for governor saying ‘Don’t monkey this up.’ Those types of statements, it only leads to things like this.”

The Hill has reached out to DeSantis’s office for comment.

DeSantis, who is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has come under fire for policies his administration has passed that many have called anti-Black. At the start of this year, his administration rejected the College Board’s Advanced Placement course on African American studies, arguing its content is “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”

Then, in June, the state’s Board of Education approved new standards for teaching African American history, including a rule directing teachers to instruct on “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

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