Skip to Content Accessibility Information

Statement of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture on the Jacksonville Hate Crime

On Saturday, August 26, our hearts were heavy as we learned about the horrifying act of violence in Jacksonville, Florida. A white supremacist, filled with hate, perpetrated a targeted attack on Black people, ultimately taking three lives before turning the gun on himself. Law enforcement officials’ statements reveal that the assailant held a deep-seated hatred for Black people, further highlighting the grave consequences of white supremacy. The assailant utilized firearms, including an AR-15 rifle adorned with a swastika, starkly demonstrating the combination of extremism, racism, and access to deadly weapons. 

The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture firmly condemns the abhorrent racist killings in Jacksonville, Florida. The lives of Angela Michelle Car, Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr., and Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion, were precious, and we send our condolences to their loved ones and families. 

From the genocide of the slave trade and racial violence to suppress the Black vote, property ownership, and Black lives, racial terror against Black people is rooted in our Nation’s founding and history. The recent racist mass shooting in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, that took nine lives, to a supermarket in Buffalo, NY, where ten lives were taken, and in Jacksonville, Florida, where three lives were lost, is part of a long legacy of racial violence that leaves generational scars on the victim’s families and their communities. 

We must have zero tolerance for hate crimes in any form and urge to implement measures to combat systemic racism, fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect for human life. It is crucial that we stand for the victims of racial terror, document their stories, and invest in their restoration and healing. Together, let us work to build a world where such atrocities cease to exist; let us write a new history.