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Two years ago, the Groveland City Council issued a proclamation and resolution calling upon the State of Florida to pardon the men who became known as the Groveland Four. Their names are Walter Irvin, Sam Shepherd, Ernest Thomas and Charles Greenlee.
The City also issued a public apology to the families of these men in light of the cruel treatment they received at the hands of former Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall. The Groveland City Council appreciates action taken earlier today by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Executive Clemency Board to unanimously approve the men’s pardons.
While the tragic events of 1949, which gave rise to this case, did not take place in the City of Groveland, the City served as the telephone center for reporters documenting the events. As such, the City has been regrettably linked to this terrible event ever since.
Groveland was founded on diversity and inclusiveness and remains committed to that vision. We stand with others in condemning all acts of hate and bias.