A lot of bad things happen in Florida. In addition to the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting that occurred on Sunday, and the shooting of singer Christina Grimmie the Friday before, the state seems to be home to a myriad of other awful occurrences, making the nickname “The Sunshine State,” seem like a misnomer. Here are five events that happened within the last five years that show Florida is quickly on its way to becoming the most crooked and backwards state in the country.
The State Just Barely Lifted The Ban On Gay Couples Adopting
Until July 1, 2015, gay couples in Florida were completely banned from adopting children. While the law hadn’t been enforced in five years, it wasn’t until 2015 that Governor Rick Scott officially signed a bill that removed the adoption ban. However, as The Florida Times Union reported, Scott still wanted “private, religious-based adoption agencies to be able to turn gay couples away.”
Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman
Trayvon Martin was a seventeen-year-old high school student who lived in Miami Gardens, Florida. On February 26, Martin went out to a convenience to store to buy candy and a drink. On his way home, George Zimmerman reported Martin as a “suspicious person” and then shot him in the chest during an altercation.
Zimmerman was not originally charged for Martin’s death, due to Florida’s stand your ground laws, which state that people may use any level of force without consequence if they reasonably believe they face an imminent and immediate threat. Zimmerman was in the news after Martin’s death for domestic violence charges, and again recently for auctioning off the gun he used to kill Martin.
As recently as June 10, Florida residents have been accused of brutally beating children. In one such incident, Carla Howard, who worked at a day care center, is accused of biting a one-year-old child on two separate occasions and striking the same chid.
Another South Florida man, Ernosto Gomez, is accused of beating his girlfriend’s young child so violently that he broke her skull. The girl’s mother has also been charged with neglect for not doing anything to stop the abuse.
Pastor “Accidentally” Shoots And Kills Wife
63-year-old Darrell Reid shot and killed his wife, Katie earlier this month. Katie and Darrell were both pastors and founders of “Happy Hill Ministries,” which they ran out of their home. Although some described their marriage as happy and loving, close family friends have described it as “violent,” and Darrell has been arrested twice on violent charges in the last couple of years.
Alligator Drags Child Into Lake At DisneyWorld
At the happiest place on earth, just last night a 2-year-old was dragged into a lake by an alligator at the Disney resort. Officials say there is “no question” that the boy is now dead, and their search has turned into a “recovery” mission rather than one of rescue. According to Fox News, “Five alligators had already been caught in the lagoon and euthanized Wednesday afternoon, but no evidence had been found indicating any of those reptiles were responsible for attacking the boy.”
In addition to two horrific shootings that occurred within two days of each other, one of them being the largest mass shooting in United States history, the five events listed above are just a sample of the awful things that have happened in Florida just in the past five years.