The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a damning condemnation of Florida’s governor while eulogizing Ajike “AJ” Owens a little more than one week after the Black mother of four was gunned down by an admittedly racist white woman.
Owens’ funeral was held Monday morning in the north Florida city of Ocala, where on the night of June 2 Susan Lorincz, 58, fired the shot through her own front door over a racist confrontation with the 35-year-old’s young children.
Amid calls for justice and accountability for Owens’ death, Sharpton also made sure to remind those who were assembled at Meadowbrook Church that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — a Republican presidential candidate who has had plenty to say in favor of restricting African American history from being taught in schools — has failed to express any “outrage” over the shooting. In more than a week since the shooting, DeSantis has failed to even acknowledge Owens’ life as of Monday.
Sharpton emphasized how DeSantis has no shortage of words when it comes to touting conservative policies about issues like immigration and the LGBTQ community. The good reverend wondered facetiously whether DeSantis was feeling okay.
“I don’t understand. I searched all the TV. I searched all the newspapers. I don’t see the outrage,” Sharpton said while delivering Owens’ eulogy at Meadowbrook Church. “They get outraged about certain things taught in the school. You get outraged about migrants coming to Texas. You get outraged about those that have a different lifestyle. But I’ve been checking my Google, I can’t find out: Does DeSantis have laryngitis?”
In the cases of other, previous controversial shootings, DeSantis has made it a point to express sympathy for victims.
In March, DeSantis tweeted that he and his wife were “praying” for a police officer who was wounded in the line of duty in Jacksonville.
One month earlier, DeSantis addressed a triple shooting in Orlando that killed a 9-year-old girl by emphasizing the need “to hold people accountable.”
In that same instance, DeSantis railed against Orlando’s district and state attorneys by suggesting they “don’t prosecute people” and suggested their bail policies were too liberal.
But those comments stood in stark contrast to his silence around Owens’ death, for which Lorincz has been charged with manslaughter with a firearm and four misdemeanors. Noticeably missing were DeSantis’ publicly stated prayers for Owens and her family.
Local law enforcement delayed the arrest of Lorincz while investigating the possibility that she was defending herself under that state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, a premise that social justice advocates found to be outrageous considering the established circumstances of the shooting.
DeSantis’ previous demands “to hold people accountable” for such gun violence were conspicuously missing from Owens’ shooting.
Lorincz was also granted bail — something DeSantis has opposed for such violent criminal allegations — despite calls for the charges to be upgraded to hate crimes since she admitted to using anti-Black racial slurs against Owens’ children, who witnessed their mother being shot to death.
Owens was also killed amid the NAACP’s travel advisory in the Sunshine State, warning that “Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in late May. “He should know that democracy will prevail because its defenders are prepared to stand up and fight. We’re not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation.”
In that instance, DeSantis had plenty to say and immediately allied the advisory “a total farce” and pushed back with racist undertones about gun violence in inner cities.
“If you look at cities like Baltimore and Chicago, you got kids more likely to get shot than to receive a first-class education, yet I don’t see the NAACP batting an eye about all the outrage and the carnage that’s happening in those areas,” DeSantis said, dismissing the travel advisory as “a political stunt.”
But Owens wasn’t shot and killed in Baltimore or Chicago. She was killed in the state of Florida by an admittedly racist white woman who called her children racist slurs before killing their mother.
It was in that context Sharpton called out DeSantis’ selective hypocrisy.
What happened to Ajike ‘AJ’ Owens?
Owens was killed after Lorincz shot through her own front door while being confronted over an iPad that was taken from Owens’ children, officials said.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents Owens’ family, has maintained in allegations to the media that Owens’ children were playing when Lorincz told them to get off her property. When the children left, they also left behind an iPad. After going home to tell their mother, Owens went to Lorincz’s home, knocked on the door and was promptly shot through Lorincz’s door. Owens was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
With a surging GoFundMe account having already exceeded a quarter of a million dollars, Owens’ family also created a website in which supporters can choose from six different ways to get involved. The site also invites people to sign a petition demanding a thorough investigation and grand jury process that delivers full accountability, including upgrading Lorincz’s charges to second-degree murder. The petition also demands the repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws.
Lastly, the site provides a link to important information on how you can take action against Florida’s Stand Your Ground Laws while promoting common-sense gun policies.
Life After Hepatitis C: How Ruby Manuel Broke Free From Lifelong Trauma
Surviving Hepatitis C: Jessica's Story
How To Support A Loved One Who Is Living With Heart Failure
Heart In Your Hands: Important Lifestyle Changes For Heart Failure Recovery
Life In Heart Failure Recovery
Jail Justice: Social Media Memes Mock Derek Chauvin After George Floyd's Murderer Stabbed In Prison
Racist Karen Shouts 'F****** Black People' After Spitting At Pro-Palestine Demonstrators
Viral Video Shows Alabama Cop Tase Handcuffed Black Man Who Was Complying: 'You Want It Again?'