KKK photo surfaces of Florida commissioner in majority Black county

The photo in question reportedly shows a young Jeffery Moore waving and grinning, wearing a white robe with a pointed hood that bears what appears to be the KKK logo.

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Religious leaders across Florida are demanding answers in light of the discovery of what appears to be a photo of a newly resigned county commissioner, who served in a majority Black community, dressed in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.

According to The Tallahassee Democrat, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed former Department of Revenue staffer Jeffery Moore to a commissioner position in Gadsden County — the only county in the Sunshine State with a predominantly Black population — in July 2021. Moore has subsequently resigned following accusations he was the person in a widely circulating photo dressed in KKK gear at what might have been a Halloween party.

Moore, the sole Republican on the five-person board, also called it quits in his bid to win the District 2 seat in the general election on Nov. 8. He failed to provide a detailed justification for his resignation in a brief letter to the governor’s office.

Florida Commissioner KKK Photos
Activist Marie Rattigan speaks outside the Gadsden County Courthouse at a press conference Wednesday, where a photo of former Gadsden County Commissioner Jeffery Moore dressed in Ku Klux Klan garb was on display. (Photo: Chasity Maynard/Tallahassee Democrat/USA TODAY NETWORK)

“Please accept this notification of my resignation, effective this date of Sept. 23, 2022, from the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners,” Moore wrote, according to The Democrat. “Thank you for the opportunity to have served in the position, however for personal reasons I am no longer able to continue.”

Inquiries regarding Moore’s resignation, the image, or the KKK garb remain unanswered. He reportedly promised to contact The Democrat by Wednesday morning, citing Hurricane Ian preparations as the reason for the delay.

The photo in question reportedly shows a young man waving and grinning at the camera, wearing a white robe with a pointed hood that bears what appears to be the KKK logo. One person is dancing, and four others are seen holding beverages with their faces scratched out. 

Although it’s not clear where or when the photo was taken, it shows what appears to be a Halloween skeleton hanging on the back wall. It also remains unknown when or who originally posted it online. 

The Democrat reported that the Florida Governor’s Office did not reply to several requests regarding Moore’s departure or the photograph, which came to light between the primary and general election when DeSantis is campaigning for re-election as governor and hinting at a presidential bid in 2024.

Brenda Holt, a retired teacher and Gadsden County commissioner who briefly served alongside Moore, described the image as “total disrespect” and claimed to have learned about it days before a “local citizen” texted it to her.

“People are upset,” said Holt, The Democrat reported. “I don’t know the history of that photo, but I do know that people depend on us in politics to do better. I’m concerned about young people seeing this.”

Pastor Tracey Stallworth, who resides in Moore’s district, said although the image appears to show the former commissioner, “we’re going to formally ask for the truth. We deserve that,” according to The Democrat. He wants Moore and DeSantis to either formally own up to the photo or deny it.

“It’s a very sad day in our history and a sad time for this county … the blackest county in the state,” said Stallworth, The Democrat reported. “This is not OK.”

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