Community members voice concerns over racially insensitive online video
Some community leaders voiced concerns Thursday about the video of a Mosley High School student using racial slurs while holding a firearm in what appears to be a private residence.
"It was despicable, disgusting, and deeply offensive," Bay County NAACP President Dr. Rufus Wood said.
"As a person of color, I feel frightened and threatened," Bay County Student Advocacy Center Founder and Director Gregory S. Dossie said.
No charges were filed against the student. These men strongly disagreed with the decision.
"Across the country and across the state, they are arresting kids for things that are far, far less significant than this," concerned local citizen Tony Bostick said.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said they would have made an arrest if they legally could have.
"We have to abide by the law, and when the facts do not meet the threshold for criminal charge, we cannot arrest somebody," Sheriff Ford said.
"There are Florida state statues that they could have been charged under. And two of them could have possibly been, unlawful possession of a weapon by a minor and unlawful display of a weapon by a minor," Dossie said.
Sheriff Ford said to be charged with these crimes the firearm must be loaded, to which they concluded in the video, it was not.
"We see in that video, several times, where he operates the action of the gun. If the firearm were loaded, would have ejected a casing," Sheriff Ford said.
Dr. Rufus Wood and Gregory Dossie also challenged the Bay District School Board to do more regarding public videos of this nature.
In a statement, Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt said in part, "We heard, at the school board meeting, the requests for a diversity council and for a workshop in the near future and we look forward to exploring those options and any others deemed viable... We remain committed to ensuring that our students are as safe as they possibly can be at school and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners.
"On this Sunday at 5 p.m. at the A.D. Harris, we will have a candid discussion about racism in schools," Dossie said.
The public is invited to come out and take part in the discussion.