The Black Politico

Orlando politics and more -- from a black perspective

The lesson behind the two slain Kissimmee officers

Central Florida once again grieves the loss of two law enforcement officers.

Thousands attended the funerals held at First Baptist Church of Orlando for Kissimmee Sergeant Richard “Sam” Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter after they were killed by a gunman while helping to protect a citizen.

Once again, the issue of the death penalty has become a hot topic ever since the sitting State Attorney in the ninth judicial circuit announced she would not seek capital punishment on anyone for any crime in her circuit during her administration.

The killing of a law enforcement officer certainly fits the description under the law of a heinous crime that is worthy of the death penalty. As a result, the next day, Governor Rick Scott removed the two cases via Executive Order 17-222. The order reassigned the case of the accused, Everette Glenn Miller, from State Attorney Aramis Ayala to State Attorney Brad King. Governor Scott said, “Last night’s violence against our law enforcement community is reprehensible and has no place in our state. In Florida, we have zero tolerance for violence and those who attack our law enforcement. Today, I am using my executive authority to reassign this case to State Attorney Brad King to ensure the victims of last night’s attack and their families receive the justice they deserve.”

Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “Two Florida police officers were brutally murdered and the victims’ families deserve a prosecutor who is willing to consider all sentences, including the death penalty – that is why the Governor and I agree the investigation and prosecution of this case must be reassigned.”

This is sad because we have the first black woman as State Attorney in the state of Florida and we are seeing injustice come in the form of blatant neglect of duty and rebellion by an elected official who is sworn to uphold the law.

On the other hand, what I hear from some in the community, is that we are undoubtedly seeing excessive force cases from around the country where some in law enforcement have abused their authority.

There is a disconnect there because in no way should justification for the actions of some recoil unfavorably for those who are good officers. In addition, the outcry from the black community after two black law enforcement officers have been killed has been awfully quiet and that is wrong.

These officers were black and they were good cops and there is no reason why we should be waging war on an entire community.

If we are guilty of being silent when good cops are killed we are just as guilty as the cops that are silent when they witness other officers use excessive force against us.

See, just as there are more good people in this world than bad, there are more good cops than bad cops. Matthew Baxter’s Grandfather spoke at the funeral of the officers acknowledging there have been some problems with law enforcement and said we have a tendency to paint all law enforcement officers with a broad brush, however, he said, there are good cops out there.

It is important that while we are fighting to change the actions of the bad officers that we don’t neglect the good ones in the midst. Leaving those who truly serve and protect us behind is just as extreme as rebelling against the law because we are angry about the actions of some officers. As we wait for the Supreme Court’s decision and possible the suspension of Ayala for misfeasance or malfeasance, we must be careful not to respond as those who are extremist in their rebellion to what’s already the law.

If “we” are to change the laws that we don’t like, it must be done fairly and properly or we will have to sit quietly by when an elected official challenges us to something that is just as extreme.

Open letter to Governor Rick Scott about State Attorney Aramis Ayala

There’s a letter floating around that is drafted to the Governor of Florida from some who say they are sick and tired of the politics of Aramis Ayala. The recent traffic stop by The Orlando Police Department that she calls racially motivated is making it’s rounds on social media, with the help of Orange and Osceola county taxpayers, and has actually been posted and supported by activist and Journalist Shaun King.

Below is a copy of the letter. Tell us your thoughts.

Dear Governor Rick Scott:

As a registered voter of the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida, I ask that you suspend Aramis Ayala from office and request the Senate review that suspension for impeachment.

While reasonable people can disagree on the death penalty as a policy issue, an elected official who swore to uphold the laws of the State of Florida should not be allowed to unilaterally cherry-pick which laws she will or will not follow. We ask that you remove her immediately and appoint someone of high legal stature, like the former Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Belvin Perry to take her place.

Aramis Ayala helped to disenfranchise over 500,000 voters that reside in Orange and Osceola counties during her election and she did not run on the platform of not enforcing the death penalty therefore she is not a duly elected officer of the court.

Helpful Source:

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/man-who-helped-state-attorney-win-election-calls-death-penalty-decision-an-embarrassment

Ayala has spent over $1.4 million of money from George Soros to unfairly call her opponent, Jeff Ashton, a racist. Now, she has taken $17,000 of our money and paid a Public Relations firm to unfairly do the same to you for rightfully taking 24 death penalty cases from her. As aware and active voters, we take this kind of deception very seriously.

Helpful Source: 

http://www.clickorlando.com/video/state-attorney-aramis-ayala-pays-for-pr-firm-with-taxpayer-money

We also ask that you investigate her husband, David Ayala, and the money from George Soros, that was filtered into his non-profit organization which is supposed to help restore the rights of violent offenders.

https://www.scribd.com/document/345684146/Follow-The-Money-Soros-Ayala-Timeline

Helpful Sources: 

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/investigators/aramis-ayala-sought-advice-on-answering-the-soros-question

http://www.wftv.com/news/9-investigates/9-investigates-emails-show-months-of-collaboration-between-aramis-ayala-anti-death-penalty-groups/514259617

Finally, if the Supreme Court sides with you in the lawsuit she filed against you, her position will likely be to say she’ll look at each case on a case by case basis and decide if it is worthy of the death penalty. After her press conference in March and as a result of her own words, we do not believe she would have an epiphany and somehow now enforce the law.

Please do not let us down. We look forward to your action on this matter.

Signed,

One of the 500,000 disenfranchised voters of Aramis Ayala

Ayala’s position on the death penalty is still a hot topic

Yesterday Governor Rick Scott pulled 21 death penalty cases from Orange and Osceola county State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

This morning, Representative Bob Cortes held a press conference calling for Ayala’s removal from office.

Last week, there was a rally supporting Aramis Ayala in Tallahassee and a press conference held by victims of violent crimes and law enforcement. Both were sparked by the State Attorney’s decision to not pursue the death penalty in any case in Orange and Osceola counties which are located in Florida; a state that lawfully uses the death penalty to punish those guilty of heinous crimes.

We, as a unit, are fighting about where to fight. Some say we should be standing with Ayala and if you’re not, you’re called a sell-out. Others say we should be following the letter of the law.
As black people, we march and take to the streets, the capitol or anywhere else we see fit. We have that right to be able to peaceably assemble. But what really are supporters of Aramis Ayala marching for?

I’ve heard they are marching to protest the death penalty and Ayala’s decision to not enforce it. The fact of the matter is the death penalty is already legal in this state and Ayala’s decision to not enforce it is unlawful. Color of Change was a part of the movement and helped to provide petitions showing Floridians are against the death penalty.

Many of those petitions aren’t from Florida residents.

Ayala spent over a million dollars pleading her case to a small portion of Orange and Osceola counties to win the seat of State Attorney after she disenfranchised Republicans, Independents, Libertarians and NPA’s by dumping a write-in candidate into the race. With all those ad dollars coming in, never once did she use the airwaves, online or print media to tell voters her position on the death penalty. Do you think that was just by happenstance or because no one asked her?

On the flip-side, when she was an Assistant State Attorney, she had no qualms about the death penalty. She was even excited to try her first homicide case.

Prosecutors are typically questioned extensively about their position on the death penalty and most are questioned when being interviewed for the job. Someone who is uncomfortable with the death penalty would likely not be suited as a homicide prosecutor nor would they be rising through the ranks as she did in Jeff Ashton’s office if she were anti-death penalty.

But, let’s say her views changed after she launched her campaign. After receiving $1.4 million dollars in campaign money from a billionaire donor named George Soros, who is an anti-death penalty proponent, her decision to not seek the death penalty is being questioned, and rightfully so.

As State Attorney, Ayala does have prosecutorial discretion. She used that when she decided not to seek death against Markeith Loyd, who police say killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend and Officer Debra Clayton. Governor Scott removed her from the Loyd case and assigned State Attorney Brad King from the Fifth Judicial Circuit in Florida. The Governor’s reasoning to do so is absolutely on point.

Ayala’s error is not that she used prosecutorial discretion to keep from charging Loyd with death, but her error lies in announcing a blanket policy not to pursue the death penalty in her administration. At all. Ever. For any case current or in the future.

That’s right. Even cases in the future. God forbid another Pulse nightclub tragedy happens and the suspect is taken alive.

Florida Statute 782.04 1(b) states, “In all cases under this section, the procedure set forth in s. 921.141 shall be followed in order to determine sentence of death or life imprisonment.” Shall within a statute is a must. It’s mandatory. It’s imperative. She did not follow the law.
On another note, Florida Statute 921.141 then continues to spell out the proceedings for the sentence of life or death imprisonment for capital felonies. The aggravators for pursuing the death penalty are within this same statute. It appears, Loyd’s case fulfills at least 5 of 16 aggravators. Prosecutors only need one to seek the death penalty.

Making this about race, inflames both sides. Florida Senator Randolph Bracy even wrote an op-ed saying Florida Governor Rick Scott is being “vengeful”. Vengeful? Really? That’s not just a stretch, it’s outright wrong to describe him as such and to use the media to brand him as a “vengeful Governor” simply for upholding the law and the Florida Statutes.

Gov Rick Scott removes 21 cases from State Attorney

Gov Rick Scott removes 21 cases from State Attorney

Ayala announced her policy which supersedes the law and that is what this is all about. Nothing more. Nothing less. Making this about law, is the only way and this case should be sitting before a judge and jury as a death penalty case. The jury would have the option to sentence Loyd to death, certainly not a State Attorney who is the prosecutor. If the framework in Florida Statute 782.04 1(b) on capital felonies is to be followed on a case-by-case basis, how in the world can Ayala do that when she has a policy to never pursue the death penalty?

Ayala has neglected her duty as prosecutor by not looking at each on a case-by-case basis and therefore should be removed from office as her personal beliefs and her donors personal beliefs clearly conflict with the law.

State Attorney’s decision to be anti-death penalty in a death penalty state is a dangerous one

There has been an outcry from those who support and those against the death penalty over the past several days.
State Attorney Aramis Ayala held a press conference saying she would not seek the death penalty on accused murderer Markeith Loyd.
She also said, she would not seek the death penalty on any other cases during her administration; current and future.
She stood with her pastor at her side while making this announcement. When a reporter asked shouldn’t voters have known about her position on the death penalty, Ayala arrogantly responded, “they know now.”
Well, we do know now and so does the Governor of Florida. Governor Scott rightfully asked the State Attorney to recuse herself from the case yet she refused.
This decision is a big one as it means she took control by taking a piece of the law from the hands of legislators in Tallahassee and decided to govern it as she sees fit. In other words, she’s legislating her own anti-death penalty rules from the office of “Top Cop” in Orange and Osceola counties. In case anyone is wondering, a Prosecutor’s job is to be the bad guy in the eyes of criminals, not their advocate. In this case and all future cases, she is claiming to be an advocate for crime and criminals.

Sorry, Ayala, but you don’t get to do that. At least not in Florida.

State Attorney of Ninth Judicial Circuit at press conference telling community she will not seek the death penalty on any cases

State Attorney of Ninth Judicial Circuit at press conference telling community she will not seek the death penalty on any cases

It’s clear she’s not ready for the position of Prosecutor, in recent stories she’s shown she’s not ready to manage an office by holding a press conference and outting employees that she thought did drugs during off-duty hours. She’s never had any management experience prior to being elected and she likely should have put her name in the hat for Public Defender instead of State Attorney since her sympathy toward criminals far exceeds her ability to be a prosecutor.

Seeking only Life without Parole for an alleged cold-blooded killer is disturbing and some are silent because they fear retaliation.

On Monday, a hearing was live-streamed and Ayala, who was recused from the case by the Governor, was there. So was Markeith Loyd and so was Brad King, the prosecutor appointed to take over the case. As Loyd left the courtroom he looked at the State Attorney and nodded at her as if they were working together.

This is a situation that most have never seen before. Even Judge Lauten, who presided over the hearing, said he’s not seen anything like this before in his career.

This is dividing communities of color, further and here’s one reason why. The Black and Brown communities are filled with good people. People who want to provide their children with a great education and it oozes people who want to be safe. Ayala’s move shows there is no system in place in Orange and Osceola counties to defend the rights of Law Enforcement or law abiding citizens.

My Mother used to take us to the bus stop armed, to let the drug dealers, prostitutes and all other criminals know that Rhea, Rhetta and any other kid that rode our bus, were not to be bothered. She is fearless. Many are not. Having a system in place that protects us is warranted. Having a balanced judicial system is necessary.

On the other hand, it’s clear, we have a problem with justice in America. Black and Brown men and women populate prisons for violent and non-violent crimes. However, what Ayala is doing is not the way to make the necessary changes and legislating from a Prosecutor’s seat means she lied when she took the oath of office to uphold the law.

After the hearing on Monday Ayala released a motion to stay on the case. In that motion, she mentioned, she is a “popularly elected” State Attorney. That is also untruthful.
She was elected after closing the primaries against State Attorney Jeff Ashton with a fake write-in candidate. That loophole disenfranchised Independents, NPA’s and Republicans.

She still couldn’t get her head above water during the campaign so she sold her soul to billionaire and Black Lives Matter financier, George Soros, who then ran a campaign against Ashton to the tune of $1.4 million in slanderous ads that called Ashton a biased, racist, State Attorney.

Furthermore, over 20,000 people wrote-in another name on the general election, ballot as opposed to selecting Ayala, something that has never happened in a State Attorney’s race in Orange and Osceola counties.

Ayala’s oath appears to uphold Soros’ agenda and not the law of the State of Florida.
If she leaned on her Christian beliefs to make this decision, she did not separate church and state and that should scare everyone. Not all people believe in Christianity and if a non-Christian was in that seat and made a decision based on their faith, all hell would break loose. In this case, all hell is breaking loose because many believe having the Death Penalty on the table is a tool prosecutors use to get the harshest punishment they can. Ayala’s actions are summing up to look like political suicide.

There are many active groups and caucuses out there claiming to represent Black people. But, they are listening to organizations like the NAACP and other Black groups that may not represent the perspective we truly have. But, these same organizations are the ones that in the 1990’s helped fuel the mass incarceration problem by asking President Clinton to crack down on crime in the Black communities; and that wasn’t the work of the Republicans, that was the work of the Democrats. They then sketched out a plan to help stop and punish crime and that led to many people of color being incarcerated for non-violent offenses.

Ayala has a history of being sympathetic to criminals. She worked as a Public Defender and also mentioned on her campaign trail that she is married to a felon who spent 7-10 years in federal prison for dealing drugs. According to Ayala, he has since done his time and is living a new life.

But what about those who were addicted to drugs and purchased drugs from him? Do they get a new chance at life? Likely not. Addicts, if they survive, are treated as criminals and not as people suffering from a disease called addiction.

As for the real movement to make change between some law enforcement officers and the Black and Brown communities, currently, there are over 32 bills in Congress for Blue Lives Matter and none for Black Lives Matter. Congress is where the change really takes place.

If Ayala and Soros are using Markeith Loyd as their poster child for stopping mass incarceration or the death penalty, their actions have put the final nail in the coffin of the Black Lives Matter movement and shame on all the Black and Brown organizations that are allowing this to happen.

The Orlando Shootings and the Pastor Protection Act

A hot button in the Florida Legislature has been the Pastor Protection Act but some say it’s a hypocritical move by countless pastors.

The Pastor Protection Act, which was signed into law this past legislative session, protects clergy from lawsuits if they refuse to perform wedding that violates religious beliefs, such as for same-sex couples. (House Bill 43 and Senate Bill 110).

Months ago, specific Pastors in the Central Florida community sounded off about wanting full protection against having to marry a same sex couple.

On social media, one pastor and members of his congregation even attacked elected officials for voting against the Pastor Protection Act.

But even prior to this bill, Pastors were and are already protected under the law to be able to marry couples they feel are prepared for marriage regardless of sexual orientation so some say there’s no reason why the hotly disputed Pastor Protection Act, sponsored by Representative Scott Plakon (R-Longwood), should be a contested issue, even though it was signed into law at the end of session.

But, what significantly links the fight for the Pastors to not be able to marry same-sex couples has become more ironic over the past 24-hours.

One pastor who was vocal about not marrying same-sex couples was scheduled to hold a vigil for the victims of Sunday’s massacre. Another pastor, who opposed marrying members of the LGBT community, rushed toward the cameras to stand in solidarity with elected and appointed officials as they spoke during a nationally televised press conference.

Pastors speaking out against marrying same-sex couples and then advertising and holding a vigil for national attention is the more unlikely couple. Some say those pastors have yet to do one thing in the LGBT community except protest the legal union and legal benefits for citizens while judging their lifestyle and most of all, judging who they love with all hopes of using legislative power to deny them the rights for which they are fighting.

Sound off on whether or not these pastors are saying one thing but truly believing another? Or, are they using this tragedy to gain national attention during one of the most trying times in American history?

Governor Rick Scott attended a prayer vigil at Iglesias El Calvario in West Orlando. His words were unifying. Scott said, “As Christians, we know God is with us and it is our faith in God that will persevere.”

An armed 29-year old identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen walked into the nightclub and shot patrons of this club, which catered to the LGBT community, because he hated to see ‘two men kissing.’ Currently, we know 50 people were killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and 53 still remain injured as a result of this hate crime.