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Baker County, FL rallies for police accountability

By staff |
June 22, 2018
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Florida rally demand police accountability.
Florida rally demand police accountability. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Jacksonville, FL - On June 15, over 60 community members in Baker County, Florida held a vigil for Corey Lauramore, an 18-year-old killed on April 15. Corey, his two brothers and friends were lured to a mobile home on County Road 125 where upon arriving, they were met with gunfire. Corey Lauramore was shot in the face and later died due to his injuries. Previously, Corey and his family had been threatened by the same individuals on social media and other outlets while Baker County police refused to do anything about it.

The Baker County Sheriff’s Department have tried to claim that Corey, his brother and friends had attempted a home invasion but accounts from family and friends tell a different story. The shooters in this case are suspected as being close with the Baker County Sheriff’s Department in various capacities. Baker County police have refused to fairly investigate the case and look at evidence that would vindicate Corey, his family and friends. Corey’s older brother William Lauramore, 24, was also shot in the neck carrying Corey to the car after he was shot. William, along with Joseph Albino, Zachary Bell, Christian Watkins, James Smith and Cayden Lauramore, Corey’s younger brother who is 16, were all arrested. James was also shot five times. They all have been charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling and second degree felony murder even though they didn’t kill anyone.

Corey previously had been the victim of police brutality in Baker County, being beaten by police there last year, as well as being stopped multiple times by Baker County Sheriff’s deputies for no reason. Baker County residents claimed that since Corey hung out with African Americans, he had been subject to targeting by Baker County deputies. Since the shooting, Corey Lauramore’s family have waged a campaign for justice in this case, organizing call-ins to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office as well as state attorney’s office.

At the vigil, family and friends of Corey and the other victims chanted, “Free our boys,” and “No justice, no peace.” Attendees demanded police accountability and transparency in the case.

“Police accountability is important with our boys’ case because officers/investigators are not doing a proper investigation, they are allowing themselves to be involved in an investigation where there are several conflicts of interest,” said Tina Lauramore, Corey’s mother. “They are withholding very important, relevant evidence from the state attorney that can prove a factual basis to the incident. The evidence that we have provided to them incriminates one of their confidential informants so therefore they are withholding it to protect his involvement being exposed. We need this evidence to be seen so that the state attorney can see without a doubt what actually occurred in the incident where my son was murdered.”

Supporters are asking those interested in showing solidarity to call Baker County Sheriff Scotty Rhoden (904-259-2231) and demand a fair investigation and accountability. The also ask people to demand that State Attorney Bill Cervone (352-374-3670) drop charges against Corey’s two brothers and friends who’ve been jailed.

As sample script for the calls: “Hello, my name is _____ and I’m calling to demand that charges be dropped against William Lauramore, Joseph Albino, Zachary Bell, Christian Watkins, James Smith and Cayden Lauramore, and a fair and transparent investigation take place into what took place on April 15.”