Local activist Caleb Houston is just one of many people in Northwest Florida who protested almost a year ago after George Floyd was killed. Hundreds of protesters rallied at the Graffiti Bridge, calling for justice. Houston says the verdict means people who are in law enforcement will understand they can’t get away with criminal behavior. Pensacola Attorney Aaron Watson says the verdict sends a message to the entire country that officers are not above the law. Watson has worked in civil rights litigations for over 10 years and says Tuesday’s verdict is a step in the right direction.
NO HIGHER JOBLESS BENEFIT
House Republicans reject Democratic efforts to increase unemployment assistance, days after Governor DeSantis opposed boosting benefits that are among the lowest in the nation. The House voted 77-39 to reject a proposed amendment that would have raised maximum unemployment payments by $100 a week. It also voted 76-39 to kill a separate proposal that would have increased the number of weeks benefits are offered.
FLORIDA TRANSGENDER ATHLETE BAN MAY BE OVER
A bill banning transgender women and girls from participating in female sport’s leagues may be history. The bill was approved in the House last week, but has now stalled in the Senate. Proponents say it could protect female athletes from competing against athletes who are born male. Opponents say the bill might kick students off of teams that they already play on.
GUNS AT CHURCH BILL GOES TO SENATE FLOOR
An effort to allow people to carry guns at churches that share locations with schools is going to the Senate floor. The Rules Committee on Tuesday approved a measure that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to bring guns on properties shared by churches and schools. Under the bill, religious institutions or property owners would continue to be able to bar guns at the sites. The House voted 76-37 to approve the measure on March 26.
EIGHT TIME FELON ARRESTED
An eight-time convicted felon from Molino is arrested on multiple drug trafficking charges. 39-year old Damion Bryant was free on bond totaling nearly a half-million dollars when arrested Monday by Pensacola police. It’s his third arrest this month. He’s now facing additional charges of trafficking meth and fentanyl, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license. This time, Bryant is being held in the Escambia County Jail without bond.
TWO RAPES IN ONE NIGHT
A Crestview man is accused of raping two young girls in the same bedroom last Wednesday night. 44-year old Jason Mobley is charged with two counts of sexual battery. A police report says one victim told deputies Mobley went into her room, pulled the bed covers off of her and then raped her. Another victim told deputies she was laying in her bed in the same room when Mobley came and laid next to her before raping her. And both victims say it’s not the first time. Mobley was released from Okaloosa County Jail last Friday on $100,000 bail.
TEEN KILLED IN FWB
A 15-year-old Fort Walton Beach boy is shot and killed in Okaloosa County. It happened late Monday night. The victim is identified as 15-year-old Quolee Jackson. A responding deputy spotted a car using its emergency flashers leaving the area and made a traffic stop. The teen’s parents were attempting to drive him to the hospital. The boy was later pronounced dead.
WOMAN WANTED FOR CHILD NEGLECT IN SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Deputies in Santa Rosa County are on the lookout for a 22-year-old woman accused of child neglect. Santa Rosa County crimestoppers identifies the suspect as Brinna Elizabeth Barnes. She’s around 5-feet-2-inches tall, weighing roughly 130 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. If you know where to find Barnes, call Crimestoppers at 437-STOP.
Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons has a goat he’s like to sell you. The goat was found wandering in an area north of Nine Mile Road last month. A deputy gave the goat a ride to the sheriff’s office where it was fed and given a “place to crash”, and no one claimed it. The goat will be sold to the highest bidder tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. in a sheriff’s livestock sale at Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Substation in Molino.