While Florida is in the midst of apologizing for wrongful imprisonment, torture, and killing related to The Groveland Four, the state also recently had a Senator call his co-workers “n—-rs”, and now a black state attorney has a noose delivered to her office.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida is investigating after a noose was mailed to the office of State Attorney Aramis Ayala.
The Root reported this is likely a racist response to her anti-death penalty stance that she announced last month. “Ayala announced on March 16 that she would not pursue the death penalty in the case of accused cop killer Markeith Loyd or in any other case she handles while serving as a state attorney.”
Orlando Weekly reported that Ayala’s chief investigator, Eric Edwards, contacted sheriff’s deputies with the court services division on March 28 and notified them that Ayala’s downtown Orlando office had received two envelopes over the course of two weeks with disturbing messages.
Orlando Weekly said:
The state attorney’s office employees opened the first envelope, received on March 20, and found a white piece of paper with the message, “SOONER OR LATER A NIGGER WILL BE A NIGGER” in black blocked letters. The envelope also contained three white business cards with the words “You are an Honorary Member of S.P.O.N.G.E.” on one side and “Society for the Prevention of Niggers Getting Everything” on the other side. The second envelope, received on March 28, contained an index card with a noose made of green twine taped to the card, according to the report.
Employees believed both envelopes may have been sent by the same person, but the Sheriff’s Office says it has not been determined if they were sent by the same individual. Investigators said they would contact the postal inspector’s office to see if they could conduct an inquiry into the origin of the messages, the report says.
“[Ayala] was advised of the envelopes and their contents,” the report says. “She believes that the hangman’s noose was meant as a threat to her as a public official. She also believes that the envelope received on March 20, 2017, was a racial message and could be determined to be a hate crime.”
Ayala is the first black woman to be elected as a state attorney in Florida, and she received immediate backlash for her anti-death penalty statements. A Seminole County clerk of the court posted on Facebook that Ayala should “get the death penalty” and be “tarred and feathered if not hung from a tree,” according to The Root.
Gov. Rick Scott subsequently removed her from the Loyd case as well as 22 other first-degree murder cases with the reasoning that Ayala would not “fight for justice.”
Ayala then sued Scott claiming that his decision violated her constitutional rights, marred her reputation and deprived those who elected her “of the benefit of their votes” after he assigned her cases to another prosecutor.
Speaking about the noose mailed to her office, Ayala told WHPB, “I have gotten a lot of pushback. I received a noose that was mailed to my office. I received several types of derogatory and racist remarks to me, personally and professionally.”
It is sad this racist intimidation is still happening in the U.S., even from government employees. The fact that it is happening because she believes in trying to rehabilitate people rather than kill them makes it even more concerning.