Connect with us

Florida

Police arrest Trump supporter for felony defacing of a Pride crosswalk

He was accused of damaging the crosswalk mural while he was part of a caravan to celebrate former President Trump’s 75th birthday

Published

on

Screenshot via WPTV NBC 5 News

DEL RAY BEACH, Fl. – Delray Beach, Florida police investigators confirmed Thursday that a 20-year-old man is under arrest in connection with the felony vandalism of a brand new LGBTQ Pride intersection and crosswalk.

The mural which had been dedicated on June 12th at the intersection of Northeast First Street and Northeast Second Avenue, had been painted to commemorate Pride month in solidarity with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community according to Rand Hoch, the president of the Palm Beach Human Rights Council.

According to WPLG ABC 10 news, Alexander Jerrich surrendered on Thursday. He was accused of damaging the crosswalk mural while he was part of a caravan to celebrate former President Trump’s 75th birthday on June 14.

He is facing charges of criminal mischief, reckless driving, and evidence of prejudice with a felony enhancement.

Jerrich’s vandalism come on the heels of several other anti-LGBTQ+ events including the trans athlete ban signed by Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this month and the governor’s vetoing state funding for needed LGBTQ programs across the state.

This past weekend on the same day as the dedication of the crosswalk, the City of Orlando observed the fifth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub massacre.

WPTV NBC 5 Palm Beach County reports:

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Florida

Suspect arrested in PULSE Memorial arson

Arson investigators and detectives from the Orlando Police Department did not indicate that the act was a hate crime

Published

on

PULSE Memorial, Orlando, Florida (Photo Courtesy of onePULSE Foundation)

ORLANDO – Investigators with the Orlando Fire Department’s arson investigations unit announced this week that a suspect was arrested who was seen on surveillance video setting fire to parts of the memorial to the 49 victims of the June 12, 2016 massacre at the former nightclub’s location this past October.

The suspect was identified as 64-year-old Mark Anthony Henson and according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department website, he is facing one charge of felony criminal mischief.

In its Facebook page two weeks ago the onePULSE Foundation wrote; “On October 12 around 8:30 p.m. EST, an individual damaged our offering wall. Three Angel banners were burned along with other items within the affected area. If you know this individual (watch from minute 2:30), please call the OPD information line at 407-246-2470 and reference case number 2021-003-693-96.

Arson investigators and detectives from the Orlando Police Department did not indicate that the act was a hate crime nor did they release further information that detailed how they developed Henson as the primary suspect.

Mark Henson mugshot (Screenshot via WFTV ABC9 Orlando, Florida)

Continue Reading

Florida

Florida school board member files criminal complaint over LGBTQ book

“My concern is for the children of Flagler County. This book needs to be investigated as a crime in our media center”

Published

on

Courtesy of the Flagler County, Florida Sheriff's Department

BUNNELL, Fl. – A Flagler County, Florida, school board member is seeking criminal charges against school officials for allowing copies of the LGBTQ+ themed book “All Boys Aren’t Blue” to remain in two of the county high school’s libraries.

Board member Jill Woolbright filed a report with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office claiming that book violates state obscenity laws. She is also demanding that three other books be pulled from the district schools libraries, “The Hate You Give,” “Speak”  and “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You.” Three of the four are written by Black authors.

“My concern is for the children of Flagler County. This book needs to be investigated as a crime in our media center. This is pretty heavy stuff, violating our own policies. That’s why I felt the need to file the report, so I know it will be investigated,” Flagler County School Board member Jill Woolbright said to local media.

“All Boys Aren’t Blue” was authored by George M. Johnson,  a journalist and LGBTQ activist, and was published in April 2020. The books is a series of personal essays about growing up Black and gay by Johnson.

In her criminal complaint, Woolbright alleges Johnson’s book had “detailed descriptions” of masturbation, oral sex and sodomy, which she claims violates violates state obscenity laws regarding materials accessible to minors.

Flagler County School Board attorney Kristy Gavin told a local media outlet that never in the Flagler County school district’s history has a book been challenged or banned. Gavin also indicated that Woolbright–who is running for re-election in 2022–is possibly representing only herself or a handful of constituents, if that. No parents have filed a book challenge at either high school or the middle schools.

According to the school board attorney, Woolbright is using three separate statutes as justification to force school staff to remove “All Boys Aren’t Blue.” Woolbright is claiming that the school board is directly responsible for oversight and supervision of materials furnished students by the school’s media center/libraries.

The first is Florida Statute Chapter 1006: Support For Learning. The statute states, “Each district school board is responsible for the content of all instructional materials and any other materials used in a classroom, made available in a school library, or included on a reading list.”

The next two are listed in Florida criminal codes for obscenity, one which in part reads: “A person may not knowingly sell, rent, loan, give away, distribute, transmit, or show any obscene material to a minor.”

Flagler Live reported that this past Wednesday, Bobby Bossardet, the assistant superintendent of schools ordered the four titles pulled from circulation, asked–and received–the names of students who currently had any of the books checked out, and took a copy of each of the books to the district office for review. 

“What triggered Mr. Bossardet going to the school was when we found out about the police report being filed,” Gavin told Flagler Live adding that she has the name of the students who currently have checked out the books under challenge.

“Those names are with me in my office, I haven’t even looked at that list, I don’t even care who the students are,” Gavin said. The names were gathered only in case the committee rules that a book is to be banned. If that happens, and some of the books have been checked out, then those students or their parents would be contacted to return the book. 

The Four Books being challenged courtesy of Flagler Live are;

 The Hate You Give,” the 2017 Angie Thomas novel about a white police officer shooting an unarmed Black teen. The book debuted atop the New York Times Bestseller list, stayed there 50 weeks, was adapted as a movie the following year, and won over a dozen awards, including the Coretta Scott King Book Award and the National Book Award for young adults. Thomas is Black. 

All Boys Aren’t Blue,” a 2020 memoir by journalist and activist George M. Johnson about coming of age, family, bullies, gender identity, sexuality and race. The book is on the American Library Association’s Rainbow List, an annual list of ““books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender content, and which are aimed at youth, birth through age 18.” The title was also a Publishers Weekly pick for anti-racism. Johnson is Black. 

Speak” is a 1999 novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. Based on the author’s experience, it is about the rape of a high school freshman girl and its traumatic effects, which, among other things, cause her to be unable to speak. The book, routinely taught in Flagler County schools, was a 1999 National Book Award finalist, has won numerous awards, and has been among the books most often banned or challenged in American libraries since its publication. Anderson is white. 

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You” is a 2019 book novelist Jason Reynolds wrote in collaboration with  Ibrahim X. Kendi, the writer and historian and founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi had written “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” in 2016, when it won the National Book Award for non-fiction. The Reynolds-Keni book is a “remix” for children and is intended to start conversations about race. Reynolds and Kendi are Black. 

Continue Reading

Florida

OnePULSE Foundation seeking to identify arsonist

Suspect was caught on surveillance video this past October seen setting fire to parts of the memorial to the victims of the massacre

Published

on

PULSE Memorial (Blade file photo by Michael K. Lavers)

ORLANDO – The OnePULSE Foundation is seeking to identify a person caught on surveillance video this past October seen setting fire to parts of the memorial to the 49 victims of the June 12, 2016 massacre at the former nightclub’s location.

On its Facebook post Saturday, the Foundation wrote; “On October 12 around 8:30 p.m. EST, an individual damaged our offering wall. Three Angel banners were burned along with other items within the affected area. If you know this individual (watch from minute 2:30), please call the OPD information line at 407-246-2470 and reference case number 2021-003-693-96. We appreciate your support. #WeWillNotLetHateWin

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular