Nearly 50 years after civil rights struggles rocked St. Augustine, Gov. Charlie Crist and the rest of the state Clemency Board issued an apology to hundreds of black activists – some of them schoolchildren -as their first action at their final meeting this morning.
Crist, Attorney General Bill McCollum, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson approved the resolution expressing “profound regret” and clearing the way for hundreds of civil rights activists arrested in 1963 and 1964 to have their records expunged.
“I think it makes a great statement about where Florida is today versus where part of Florida was back then,” Crist said this morning.
Sen. Tony Hill, a black Democrat from Jacksonville, asked Crist to sponsor the resolution after he failed to convince lawmakers to pass a bill clearing the civil rights activists’ records.