The St. Johns County Sheriff's office on the morning of June 6, 2023 removed a false statement that disgraced segregationist Sheriff LAWRENCE O. DAVIS was "exonerated" by the Florida Senate of corruption charges. DAVIS encumbered the position from 1949-1971, when he was removed by the Florida Senate on 44-2 vote.
Nearly ten (10) years ago, on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech, I wrote and requested removal from the Sheriff's website of three (3) extravagant falsehoods about Dr. King and DAVIS, by e-mail to the then-Sheriff, DAVID SHOAR.
Each of the three (3) falsehoods was previously published in a 20th Century Sheriffs section of the 1995 yearbook of the St. Johns County Sheriff's office, under Sheriff Neil Perry.
Sheriff SHOAR never wrote me back about the falsehoods and never explained the etiology of the pro-segregationist falsehoods on the website of the St. Johns County Sheriff.
The falsehoods were that:
(1) DAVIS held the town together during civil rights demonstrations, when in fact he was an ally of the KKK and found in contempt of court by United States District Court Judge Bryan Simpson;
(2) Dr. King was arrested here in 1964 by "federal agents," and
(3) In 1971 the Floridan State Senate "exonerated" DAVIS when in truth and in fact, the Florida Senate confirmed the Governor's removal action and removed Sheriff DAVIS from office by 44-2 vote.
The first two falsehoods were ultimately removed over the hears.
But the lying statement about DAVIS's putative exoneration remained until June 6, 2023. Thanks to Sheriff Robert Hardwick and Captain Durden for removing the false statement after I brought it up during public comment on the Sheriff's proposed FY 2024 budget. In speaking to County Commission several times this year, I requested action to remove the falsehood, most recently by analogy to the federal Data Quality Act.
Thank you, SJSO, for removing the last of the falsehoods, nine (9) years, nine (9) months and nine (9) days after I first requested it by e-mail to Sheriff DAVID SHOAR, on August 28, 2013, the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech. No thanks to insolent, incompetent, corrupt ex-Sheriff DAVID SHOAR, who legally changed his name from "HOAR" in 1994.
SJSO: Please consult with county historians to produce a more balanced history of 20th century Sheriffs for our website, including accurate depictions of past wrongs!
Corrupt segregationist Sheriff LAWRENCE O. DAVIS was not "exonerated."
Michelle O'Connell did not commit suicide.
Justice for Michelle O'Connell.