On the evening of Saturday, Aug. 10, the leadership of the Baptist Ministers Union held a press conference at Greater True Vine Baptist Church to show their support for the family of Roy Middleton, who was shot twice in the leg by Escambia County deputies two weeks earlier.
Middleton was unarmed in his front yard looking through his mother’s car at the time he was shot.
The shooting has triggered a maelstrom with state and local civil rights organizations and with the daily newspaper, which has kept the incident on its front page and editorial pages for the past two weeks.
At the press conference, the Baptist Ministers Union also said that it would request a meeting with Sheriff David Morgan to seek answers to several questions that the African-American community has about the incident. Dr. Larry Watson Jr., pastor of Englewood Missionary Baptist Church and president of the ministers’ union, said that he has appointed a delegation to meet with the sheriff.
The Independent News spoke after the press conference with Sheriff David Morgan, who said that he looked forward to meeting with the ministers. He said that he would do his best to answer all their questions.
“When Leroy Boyd [founder and president of Movement for Change] was alive, he often met with me about concerns with the jail or an arrest,” said Morgan. “We would go over all the facts. And sometimes we would agree to disagree, but Leroy and I would always shake hands when we finished.”
City Park Issues
The City of Pensacola has 94 parks that are spread over 600 acres. Last week, the maintenance of two of them came under fire, and the city reacted quickly to stem the complaints.
The Bream Fisherman Association had become frustrated over the city’s failure to spend the allocated funds to repair and make handicapped accessible its historic community center at Miraflores park. After a post on Rick’s Blog detailing the struggle to get the city to make relatively minor repairs to a building that was built in 1934, work crews showed up the next morning fixing everything but the bathrooms.
Meanwhile, the city also came under fire for the condition of the Veterans Memorial Park on Bayfront Parkway. Six months after the city took over the maintenance of the facility and received a grant from BP to upgrade the park that honors our military veterans, the new foundation by the city to oversee the park doesn’t have a license agreement with the city and a 501(c)(3) non-profit status, according to documents received by the Independent News.
At the new foundation’s Aug. 6 meeting, retired Brigadier General Roger Rowe, who was in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 32 years, complained about the park’s condition. He described how he saw weeds growing all around the park, especially by the World War II memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial had weeds growing on the top of it and hanging over the panels. By Friday, the city had Wallace Sprinklers on the site.
Defending Baby Gaetz
Former NRA President Marion Hammer had to come to the defense of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Ft. Walton Beach) after the National Association for Gun Rights, a Colorado-based pro-gun group, used for a fundraising campaign statements falsely attributed to Gaetz about controversy over Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
According to Lee Williams in the Gun Writer blog, the group sent out “nasty email attacks” targeting Gaetz as he is about to chair meetings to examine the state’s hotly contested self-defense laws.
“Rep. Matt Gaetz is one of the strongest, most dedicated supporters of the Second Amendment, your right to keep and bear arms and your right of self-defense that we have ever had in the Florida Legislature,” said Hammer in an email to NRA members.