The leader of Florida’s black lawmakers Thursday said Gov. Rick Scott would not have stripped Orange-
“Absolutely not,” Sen. Perry Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, told reporters at a news conference in the Capitol. Ayala, a Democrat, is black.
Members of the Legislative Black Caucus decried Scott’s decision to remove Ayala from the case, in which she decided not to pursue the death penalty. Loyd is charged with killing Sade Dixon, his pregnant ex-girlfriend, and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton.
Lake County State Attorney Brad King has taken over the prosecution, and Ayala – elected to a 4-year term last year – has said she will challenge the governor’s authority to remove her from the case.
Ayala later said she would not seek capital punishment in any cases. A Seminole County Clerk of Court employee was suspended for posting on social media that Ayala should be “tarred and feathered if not hung from a tree.”
“It’s 2017 and the duly elected state attorney is threatened with a lynching,” said Rep. Sean Shaw, a Tampa Democrat. “That’s why we’re here today. The death penalty is a link to the sordid past in Florida where lynching were used to terrorize our communities.”
The caucus’ full press conference can be viewed in a Periscope video below:
— Jim Rosica (@JimRosicaFL) March 23, 2017