PALM BEACH, FL – Someone in Florida wanted to send a clear message to every person who had a vehicle with a New York tag: if you are ‘woke,’ go elsewhere.
Over the weekend, some residents whose cars carry New York license plates came across the notices placed on their windows urging them to leave Florida if they are 'woke.'
— The Palm Beach Post (@pbpost) January 3, 2022
Police in Palm Beach responded to several complaints when people who had out of state tags found a very basic note on their cars.
“If you are one of those ‘woke’ people – leave Florida. You will be happier elsewhere, as will we.”
The letters were found strewn around the exclusive areas of Sunrise and Seaview Avenue as well as Bradley Place.
All of the reported letters were discovered on vehicles with out-of-state tags, while the vast majority were found on vehicles with New York plates.
Totally-Based Florida Man Putting Flyers On Cars With New York Tags Telling "Woke People" They're Welcome To Leave 💀 https://t.co/8Bh6iZd7Tl
— Not the Bee (@Not_the_Bee) January 7, 2022
Some of the people viewed the letters as threatening, despite there being no threat of harm or consequences if they stayed other than no one being happy.
The Palm Beach Police Department responded to the complaints and confirmed that, although the letters are not welcoming, they are certainly not criminal.
The New York Post spoke to the Palm Beach Police Department’s spokesman, Captain William Rothrock, who said:
“Residents were concerned about the lack of civility and respect for personal property. We understood that concern and that’s why we started to look into the matter but we determined…it was non-criminal in nature…
As uncivil as it may be and not characteristic of our community, it is not a crime.”
— New York Post (@nypost) January 5, 2022
A former New Yorker spoke to the Palm Beach Daily News about the letters. The resident said:
“America was founded on freedom of religion and thought. We have seen that there are many people willing to follow through on such dangerous and threatening messages. This behavior is another sign that our democracy is in peril.”
While some took the letter as threatening, others may take it as yet another example of how people are fed up with New York and other states taxes and lockdown measures over the pandemic.
In December of 2021, some new residents of Florida gave various reasons why they have made the sunshine state their new home.
COVID protocols and taxes seemed to be high on the list, at least to two people who spoke to Fox News.
Paula Miller, who recently moved to Florida from Evanston, Illinois, said she never thought about moving to Florida over the property taxes in her former hometown. She said:
“The taxes I was paying in Cook County…were getting really insane. My property tax went up $1,000 in one year. And I realized that the trend was going to continue.”
“I just saw that as a trend that I couldn’t get behind. And as the election approached…no one was sure of the outcome, but…if Trump won again, I was really afraid of riots breaking out, and I did not feel safe.
And I wanted to get out for the inauguration. So I came to Florida in October and stayed with friends and looked at real estate. I bought something within two weeks.”
Miller also noted that she feels safer living in Florida than she did in Illinois. Her reason, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. She said:
“As long as he stays in office, I feel safe. But I also realize that Florida is one election away from catastrophe.”
Another person who spoke to Fox about moving to Florida from Chicago was Lauren Callahan.
Callahan was robbed in Chicago in 2019 and became concerned that the city was no longer safe to live in. That’s when she and her family decided to move.
Besides the crime that made her feel unsafe, she also noted the pandemic protocols that Chicago has in force. She said being forced for she and her fiancée to live inside of a small one-bedroom apartment for long periods was enough for her.
Callahan and Miller are far from alone in terms of their reasons for moving to Florida. Move.org published a survey in December of 2021 in which reported most of the 1,000 respondents that moved went to Florida.
Of those people, almost half of them said they did so because of taxes and cost of living expenses. And almost 40 percent of those respondents said they did so for political reasons.
Reports say that the predator, a homeless, previously convicted man who now stands accused of felony sexual assault of a child had his bond set at only $50,00 by a magistrate judge in late December.
“It’s just unconscionable that a judge that took an oath to keep the community safe, to protect children, would do something that would take a known career criminal and violent predator and put him back out in the street,” said Austin Police Department Senior Officer Justin Berry to Fox News. “It’s just appalling.”
Fox said the magistrate made the absurd claim that she had followed proper procedures in consideration of setting the bond.
The incident took place on December 27, when Austin police officers were dispatched to a criminal trespass call. On arrival, officers reported they witnessed the sexual predator, Ronald Martin Jr., “performing oral sex on what appeared to be a young juvenile male,” an arrest affidavit reviewed by Fox News read.
Austin law enforcement officials booked Martin on December 28 into the Travis County Jail relative to an open warrant for failure to register as a sex offender, while they continue to investigate the circumstances around the new allegation.
Martin, a frequent sex-offending flyer is listed as a lifetime high-risk sexual offender by the Texas Department of Public Safety, and has a number of previous convictions for multiple sex crimes, which includes at least one involving a seven-year-old boy, Texas DPS said.
Austin police later identified the juvenile in the December assault as a 14-year-old from Kentucky. Police say he told them he met Martin via Instagram, where he went by the aliases of “Jaden” and “Kevin,” according to an interview with police.
The victim said Martin “asked him to send pictures of his penis” via Instagram, the Telegram app, and text message.
Martin subsequently traveled to a church close to the boy’s home, picked him up, and then paid for two tickets on Greyhound to Austin. Once there, Martin anally and orally sexually assaulted him.
After police interviewed both the victim as well as Martin, municipal court Judge Patrick McNelis signed an arrest warrant on December 29, charging him with second-degree felony sexual assault of a child.
McNelis also signed a recommended bond amount of $1 million in which he said “the defendant is currently in custody for failure to register as a sex offender.”
The following day, during a bond hearing before Judge Christyne Harris Schultz, she signed off on a $50,000 surety bond for Martin, which only required a 10% payment to set him free. Schultz also included a number of conditions, including GPS monitoring, and a no-contact order with the victim, nor any unsupervised contact with minors.
“As a judge, I follow the code of criminal procedure, in every case,” the judge told Fox News in a phone interview. “And in determining the amount and the conditions of bail, [I] consider the financial resources and their ability to make bail, and the safety of the community and the alleged victim as well.”
Officer Berry, meantime said one of the officers involved in the case was deeply troubled by Shultz’s decision.
“One of the officers I’ve talked to involved in this case…is deeply hurt. They spent a lot of time with the victim in this case, and they feel hopeless.”
Meanwhile, there are people locked up in Washington, DC jails being held without bond for criminal trespass. Let that sink in.
Berry, who is running as a Republican for a Texas legislative seat said that decisions such as Schultz’s gives officers in his department “a sense of hopelessness.”
One issue in the city of Austin where it concerns policing and crime is that judges in the city are in fact appointed by the city council, which has proven it doesn’t take crime in Texas’s state capital seriously.
For example, in 2020 the city council voted to gut police funding to the tune of $150 million.
“The culture has really got to change,” said Berry, while clarifying he is speaking for himself and not as a representative of the Austin Police Department. “I think [the] city of Austin, our elected officials, really got to stop meddling” and cease giving “woke dictations to our magistrates.”
Martin is still being held on the $50,000 bond for the felony sexual assault, as well as an additional $10,000 bond for failing to register as a sex offender. Fox said his next court hearing is scheduled for January 20.
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