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Petitioning Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson, Thad Altman, Rick Scott, Alabama State House, Alabama State Senate, Arkansas State Senate, Arkansas State House, John McCain, Ar...

Outlaw hog vs. dog hunting/fighting in the wild

Goal: To outlaw the cruel and inhumane practice of using dogs to hunt wild boar in Florida, as well as in the 31 others states it's currently legal or have no laws on the books.  Florida (as well as other states) has a wild boar problem. Hogs are numerous, omnivorous and have no natural predators, making them one of the largest nuisance pests in the state. There are many humane options for dealing with the pigs, which do not need to involve brutally killing the pigs or putting domesticated dogs in harm’s way. However, despite the existence of alternatives, Florida and other states have exempted the use of  "bait-dogs" in boar hunting. This practice is incredibly dangerous and very inhumane for the dogs and boars involved. Each of the 32 states that allow this practice laws differ, but Florida animal cruelty statute states:  FLORIDA ANIMALS: CRUELTY; SALES; ANIMAL ENTERPRISE PROTECTION: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0800-0899/0828/Sections/0828.122.html 828.122 Fighting or baiting animals; offenses; penalties.—(1) This act may be cited as “The Animal Fighting Act.”(2) As used in this section, the term:(a) “Animal fighting” means fighting between roosters or other birds or between dogs, bears, or other animals.(b) “Baiting” means to attack with violence, to provoke, or to harass an animal with one or more animals for the purpose of training an animal for, or to cause an animal to engage in, fights with or among other animals. In addition, “baiting” means the use of live animals in the training of racing greyhounds.(c) “Person” means every natural person, firm, copartnership, association, or corporation.(3) Any person who knowingly commits any of the following acts commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084:Baiting, breeding, training, transporting, selling, owning, possessing, or using any wild or domestic animal for the purpose of animal fighting or baiting; (9) This section shall not apply to:.....(e) Any person using dogs to hunt wild hogs or to retrieve domestic hogs pursuant to customary hunting or agricultural practices." The exception (e) makes NO logical sense, because dogs are trained to "hunt" by chasing, cornering, attacking and fighting. So, why is it illegal to cause a dog to fight another dog, or a pig in an enclosure, but it is legal to use dogs to chase and viciously attack pigs while being trained and in the wild? Boar hunting with dogs is exactly what it sounds like: dogs trained to track and attack. They are taken out into the country, or wherever wild hogs are plentiful, and set loose to sniff out hogs. Once a hog is found the dogs will chase it down, corner, bay and attack it, usually leaving it badly injured, but normally still alive. Hunters (when they catch up) will kill the pig, usually by "sticking," which is a prolonged death vs. the use of a proper gun. Wild hogs are incredibly difficult to kill and will put up a fight until the end. Many dogs involved are wounded by tusks, bitten, trampled and sometimes killed. This is basically animal fighting, in the wild. Putting dogs in such a dangerous situation is inhumane and should not be legal. Visit http://sugarshope.org/ to learn more.  PETITION LETTER: Wild boars are a major problem in Florida and in other states. The species has no natural predators, is omnivorous and repopulates very quickly: it is because of these traits that wild boars are a force hard to reckon with. There are many control methods used, some of them very inhumane. Currently it is legal for dogs to be used in wild hog hunting. This practice is extremely dangerous for the dogs involved and leads to inappropriate practices elsewhere. Dogs involved in hunting are likely to be seriously injured by the hogs. Dogs get trampled, bitten, pierced by tusks and may be infected with diseases that pigs carry. The hogs are frightened, outnumbered and suffer a painful death.  I urge you to propose a ban on hunting wild pigs with dogs in order to put a stop to these inappropriate behaviors. Please consider other methods of wild pig population control, such as designating land for hogs to be displaced to, and controlling breeding of the species. Allowing dogs to hunt them is inhumane and unnecessary. Visit http://sugarshope.org/ to learn more.  Sincerely, [Your Name Here]  

Fara D
86,081 supporters
Petitioning Georgia State House, Georgia State Senate, Georgia Governor, Michael Williams

Protect Stone Mountain, and the history it holds.

There is a movement to remove the Confederate Faces from Stone Mountain. With all of the violence that has come about in recent days we must move to nonviolently protect these monuments and prosecute vandals who believe in defacing them. It is important to not be blinded by the politics and remember that HISTORY cannot be racist or a bigot but only can state facts. If we destroy part of the facts is it even history anymore? Do we wanna forget about the men and women who died. Do we wanna forget about the slaves or the Confederacy? I believe once we forget it makes it far easier to repeat our mistakes? Will you stand with me to protect this Monument, not as Republican or Democrat but as an american who is proud of what we have become considering where we have come from. We are asking that you will ensure state law enforcement resources if it becomes necessary to protect this landmark. I grew up with this Monument and would hate to see it destroyed. Thank you!

Dylan Geerts
84,719 supporters
Petitioning Naheed Nenshi, John Tory, Jim Watson, Barack Obama, Amnesty International Australia, Human Rights Campaign, United Nations Security Council, Human Rights Watch, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, ...

Free Ahed Tamimi

My name is Nasri Akil from Toronto, Canada. I started this campaign to support" Ahed Tamimi", her mother "Mariam", her cousin "Nur" and the other kids detained by the evil hands of the Zionists of the fake state of Israel. In a desperate hope to get enough signature to put pressure on decision makers to do something about the constant twisted detention of Palestinian kids. In turn this will expose the evil of the zionists and pressure the international community. I would like to mention here that this petition has nothing to do with race or religion or ethnicity. It's pure right against wrong. Zionism is not Judaism. Judaism is a religion not a race. Many Jews are not Zionists. Most Zionists are not Jews. Many Zionists hate Jews. Opposition to Israel is NOT anti-Semitism. Ahed Tamimi, 16, was arrested ( kidnapped actually ) by Israeli forces in the middle of the night. Since she was a young child, she has been active in weekly demonstrations against Israel’s theft of her family’s land in occupied Nabi Saleh. But as Tamimi stands against Israeli occupation, she underscores: whenever a people face oppression, we must show solidarity. Israeli soldiers shot Ahed Tamimi's relative in the head, leaving the teenage boy in a coma, and then invaded her family home. She demanded that the occupying Israeli soldiers leave her property immediately, shouting "don't touch me" and "leave!" Now she's in Israeli military detention, where 75% of Palestinian children report assault. Ahed is a child, and like thousands of Palestinian children she could be humiliated and abused if we don't get her out fast. She has become another child statistic of the countless other children detained illegally in Israel. Her court date is December 25th, 2017. She was taken into question at the Moscobiyeh prison, notorious for it's dungeon cell, torture tactics fully utilized on children, and extensive harassment. She was put in isolation, left in an icy cell, without proper food. In fives days she was moved three times. Why? To exhaust and break her.  When her mother arrived to be there with her, she too was arrested.  We demand that Ahed and all Palestinian children are released from Israeli prisons now.  The international community must put an end to the ill-treatment and detention of Palestinian children. Enough is enough.  Ahed Tamimi represent all the innocent kids in the Isareli detention and represent the Palestinians struggle against the illegal occupation of Palestine. Since 1967, Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have been living under Israeli military law and prosecuted in military courts. Israeli military law, which fails to ensure and denies basic and fundamental rights, is applied to the whole Palestinian population. Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees. Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children. Around 500-700 Palestinian children are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system each year. The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones, and three out of four experience physical violence during arrest, transfer or interrogation. Unlike Israeli children living in illegal settlements in the West Bank, Palestinian children are not accompanied by a parent and are generally interrogated without the benefit of legal advice, or being informed of their right. They are overwhelmingly accused of throwing stones, an offense that can lead to a potential maximum sentence of 10 to 20 years depending on a child’s age. AHED TAMIMI will go to trial on Christmas Day for slapping an Israeli soldier, illegally trespassing on her property, the day after her 15-year-old cousin was shot in the face. In December 2011, Mustafa Tamimi was killed during a protest in the village when an Israeli soldier shot him in the face with a tear gas canister. One year later, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Rashadi Tamimi in the village. One wonders why the "slap" is the Crime? I decided to do something about it and start with what I can. So that's why I am here asking you to help me help Ahed, her family and all the other kids. I also started a fund raising campaign on "GoFundMe" hoping to raise enough money to hire as many legal advisors to support Ahed and the others legaly in the court and get some justice. I mean enough is enough...I can't sleep I can't eat and these kids are experiencing all of that twist. Someone must do something. This is not right. This is not humanity. We cannot make this acceptable by doing nothing.  I earnestly ask that at the very least, we make some noise in support of Ahed Tamimi and the other children that are held prisoners with no charge, no defense, all in violation of international laws.   She is one, but we are many. It takes a united front to add pressure, to induce accountability and hopefully give freedom to the oppressed, weak and innocent.  To Ahed and all the children in Israeli jails: We stand by your side, and are holding you in our hearts. We will not give up until you are free. You are not alone. As a wise man ounce said: "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible" Sign. Support. Make Noise. Add Pressure. Be Human.  what if Ahed was your daughter, sister or just a friend? What would you do?

Nasri Akil
68,406 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!

I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to  be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2017 creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children.  John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the  life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggle to connect to their American military fathers. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017 now!

Jenifer Bass
33,330 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Georgia State Senate, Georgia State House

Legalize medical marijuana, Ancient drug could save saves lives if approved

Medical marijuana is not smoked. It comes as a liquid. It is either inhaled with a vaporizer or placed under the tongue to be absorbed or in the form of a lozenge. The first method enters the blood stream the fastest but the second and third have a longer and stronger effect. Marijuana consists of two main parts, THC the hallucinogenic part of marijuana and the CDBs oils, both are important parts of medical marijuana. The main question is: what help does it provide and to whom?Nearly two decades of research have shown that marijuana can be beneficial in alleviating pain and inflammation, and symptoms associated with an array of illnesses, including: cancer’s, mitigating side effects of Chimo, PTSD, migraines, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, eating disorders, chrones, and leg cramps to name a few. And yes there are others. This drug seems to works better with less side affects then drugs currently on the market. Since it is a natural cure, it is non-patentable. A study led by Dr. Marcus A. Bachhuber, published in August 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that from 1999 to 2010, states across the country had steep increases in opioid overdose deaths. But in states where medical marijuana was legal, mortality linked to opioid use declined steadily in the years after implementation of the marijuana law -- down by almost 25 percent -- compared to states where marijuana was not legally available  http://abcnews.go.com/business/story?id=2735017&page=1 The number of people that could approach normalcy by using medical marijuana is quit large. Many illnesses could be address by the use of this natural product. Epilepsy is a debilitating disease found in children. What Medical marijuana does for some children is nothing short of amazing. Let me pass along a factual story from a neurologist. He started using the drug for medical purposes on 10 children that were being treated with mainline drugs for epilepsy. They were still each subject to up to 100 seizures a day. Once they were put on marijuana marijuana therapy the seizures reduced in 6 of the children to ZERO a day, thats right ZERO a day. First hand knowledge. People with Parkinson’s (like me) also find that the use of medical marijuana can change their life. It significantly reduces involuntary movements associated with Parkinsons’, reducing the need to stronger pills. It improves depression, it increases appetite, it aids in sleep and it overall reduces pain and inflammation in joints allowing the person much more freedom of movement. All this from a small amount of medical marijuana taken at bedtime. Remember this is factual account. This does not mean it will help everyone! You MUST contact your Dr. for advice and direction on any medication you take. The following link with Michael J, Fox is worth a million words    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_xpi8-WbJs&t=25s The list is quite long. Governments say is it not been tested. So test it! But in reality is has been tested for years.  What we need: The US congress and Senate to approve the legalization the is of medical marijuana. This will pave the way for states to legalize medical marijuana.  We have three things we need to do.1.We have got to change the classification of the drug so it can be sent across lines2.This change will allow states to conduct clinical trials on the med which are way overdue3. Change Ga law to allow for growth and production4. Set up controls and taxes to fund this ( it will be a massive influx of tax revenue to the state)Millions of people in the US will be helped or cured by this legalization.  Tax it, control it vigorously, allow only certified doctors to prescribe it! It could change YOUR life for the better. Not to mention ease our national debt by trillions.

Mike Priven
23,021 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Nathan Deal, Georgia State Senate, Georgia State House, Mandi Ballinger, Casey Cagle

Georgians Against Campus Carry

Nathan Deal has signed House Bill 280, which allows anyone 21 or older with a weapons license to carry a gun anywhere on a public college or university campus, except inside dormitories, fraternities and sorority houses, daycare facilities, and at athletic events.  HB 280 Was Signed. Now What? The Georgia Board of Regents controls the implementation of Georgia university policy, so it is now up to them to decide on the policy that universities will enact in response to the passing of this bill. HB 280 has many flaws and its implementation is so flawed that it is frowned upon by those on both sides of the issue. It is imperative that we contact the Board of Regents with our concerns and to voice our opinion that we believe that this law is too flawed to implement while also preserving the safety needs of our college campuses and surrounding communities. Calls to action: Write the board of regents, their correspondence addresses can be found here: http://www.usg.edu/regents/members Attend the May 16, 2017 Board of Regents meeting in the Atlanta Office:        Room 8003        270 Washington Street, SW        Atlanta, GA 30334 Note: The meeting is open to the public, but no comments/concerns will be taken during the meeting. Call the Board of Regents at 404-962-3049 and voice your concerns as a student, parent, faculty member, staff, community member, Georgian, etc. for the implementation of HB 280. Write letters/emails to Georgia university administrators; presidents, provosts, and deans of students. (cc the Board of regents members).  Please Join me in Opposition to HB 280  Special Thanks to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Evan Gillon, and Ayo Aladesanmi 

Paul Oshinski
8,312 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Georgia State House, Georgia State Senate

Stand with Survivors & Stop Georgia House Bill 51

When I was a sophomore in college, I was sexually assaulted by a student. While this was the most traumatic experience of my entire life, I was able to graduate college thanks to counseling and the academic accommodations I needed to stay in school. Because of my school and the accommodations I was afforded, I’m now attending Georgia State University College of Law where I continue to fight for survivors’ rights. But I’m afraid that student survivors in Georgia today won’t be able to thrive and graduate if the Georgia legislature passes House Bill 51. H.B. 51 would make Georgia universities less safe for students who have been raped. By stripping universities of their role in responding to sexual misconduct -- including disciplining offenders -- student victims like myself will lose access to the support we need to remain in school and to heal from our assaults. This law would mandate that professors and administration report assaults to law enforcement without the victims’ consent, leaving many students afraid to seek support. Other students will be forced to spend months and years attending classes with the people who raped them. Still others, who fear police involvement or deportation, will be discouraged from reporting at all. Reporting rates will undoubtedly plummet, and campuses like mine will no longer be safe. Additionally, members of minority communities, notably LGBTQ+ and women of color, are assaulted at the highest rates. These groups are even more reticent to report to the police and will be further denied access to education. Sign this petition to protect student survivors of sexual assault from Georgia H.B. 51. Not only is House Bill 51 dangerous, it’s also illegal. It violates long-standing protections of civil rights for women and other survivors of gender-based violence. These protections mandate schools to respond to acts of sexual misconduct, regardless of whether law enforcement is involved. If passed, H.B. 51 would fly in the face of decades of national precedent – and rape survivors will pay the price. Stand with Georgia students like myself in demanding that our legislators oppose H.B. 51. In solidarity, Grace You can stay up to date on our local efforts here: https://www.facebook.com/studentsagainstHB51

People Against House Bill 51
7,818 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States

Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!

When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities

Dominick Evans
6,821 supporters
Petitioning Brian Strickland, Georgia State House, Georgia State Senate, Nathan Deal, Johnny Isakson, Gerald Greene, Dale Rutledge, Emanuel Jones, John Yates, Rick Jasperse

Its called Respect for the Deceased.

As a mother that has lost a child in horrific car accident on 8.20.2016 I am now on a mission to STOP news cast from broadcasting the vehicle of the deceased. There is NO respect for people's privacy anymore . I did NOT want to see photos of my child's burning vehicle broadcast-ed. This is very personal space. This is where my child took her last breath, this is where her life was taken. That was my daughter in that vehicle. These photos will and are where the deceased loved ones search for answers. So I am now a MOTHER on a mission ..Please sign and help spread the petition you never know when you might be in my shoes.

Kimberly Lee
6,298 supporters
Petitioning Bill Nelson, Bernie Sanders, Michelle Obama, Marco Rubio, U.S. House of Representatives, Florida State Senate, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Georgia State House, Georgia State Sena...

Kelly Garrison Law - Domestic Violence Law

We would like to pass the Kelly Garrison Law - A law that states any man or woman that has been charged with domestic battery and or has a restraining order against them must wear either an ankle bracelet or some other form of tracking device.  This should be law and if it was, Kelly Garrison would be alive today!  Please support my request for the Kelly Garrison Bill to be passed.View her story here! Here's the story from the Tampa Bay Times ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tampa woman slain in Georgia had sought protection from ex-husband Published: April 6, 2018 Updated: April 6, 2018 at 09:28 PM TAMPA — John Wise always said "hello" to neighbor Kelly Garrison, but it wasn’t until they shared some strawberry daiquiris that he ever got to know her. Barely two minutes after she left his Carrollwood apartment that night, Dec. 30, he heard a scream "like nothing I’ve ever heard before." It was coming from Garrison’s front door. Wise, 54, kicked it in. It was dark, but he saw a man wearing a hoodie and a headlamp pinning Garrison down. Her gasps for air sounded like her last. He kicked the assailant in the head and lifted him off her. The two struggled for several minutes before the attacker fled. "I was fighting for my life," Wise said. But Wise wasn’t there Thursday morning when Kelley James McDonald tracked Garrison, his 35-year-old ex-wife, to her sister’s home in Georgia. In a few horrific moments, McDonald fatally shot both women then himself, orphaning the 2-year-old daughter the couple had together, authorities said. McDonald, 39, also shot a 16-year-old girl in the home, seriously injuring her, according to the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office. Garrison, who taught elementary grades at Corbett Preparatory School in Carrollwood, was harassed and threatened by her ex-husband for more than two years, according to a petition for protection she filed in Hillsborough County a few days after the Dec. 30 attack. That led the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to secure a warrant for McDonald’s arrest on charges of breaking and entering and assault, sheriff’s records show. Deputies trying to find him heard from one family member that he was hiding out, the records show. An injunction granted by the court ordered McDonald to stay at least 300 feet away from Garrison and to surrender any firearms to the Sheriff’s Office. Four months later, however, McDonald was still at large. On Thursday, he arrived in Dahlonega, Ga., about an hour north of Atlanta, and found his daughter and ex-wife at her sister’s house, Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. "They had left the Florida area to come here and hide for safety and the suspect found them at this location," Jarrad said. After entering the house about 8:30 a.m., McDonald shot Garrison’s sister, 38-year-old Tracy Lynne Runnels, then continued through the house and shot the 16-year-old girl, the Sheriff’s Office said. Then he fatally shot Garrison before turning his gun on himself. Another girl, 13, escaped through a back door and called 911. McDonald’s daughter was not injured, but the 16-year-old girl underwent a number of surgeries and was recovering Friday, the Sheriff’s Office said. • • • Garrison and McDonald met in 2009 and married in 2011. By the spring of 2016, McDonald’s behavior was alarming his wife, her petition in Hillsborough County states. It included an eight-page attachment chronicling months of threats and harassment before and after their divorce in October. McDonald accused Garrison of cheating on him, threatened to "take care" of a male acquaintance of hers, hacked her email account and refused to let her go to the beach "because he said guys would hit on me and try to sleep with me," she wrote in the petition. In August 2016, she found an audio recorder in her purse, and her husband admitted placing it there, the petition says. The following month, a family counselor urged Garrison to file for divorce. "She said (McDonald) needed help from a psychiatrist for his serious psychiatric problems and that he has all the signs of a violent person who could lose control at any time," Garrison wrote. Last April, McDonald told Garrison that if she went through with a pending divorce, their daughter "won’t have any parents," she wrote. Garrison was puzzled. "He said it again but louder, ‘She will not have ANY parents,’" she wrote in the court filing. The following month, Garrison moved out of the townhome the couple shared. On moving day, according to the petition, McDonald told her, "I’ll get you back for this when you least expect it." The divorce was finalized Oct. 27, but McDonald continued to harass and threaten Garrison for the next two months, the petition says. Records show McDonald had two prior arrests in Florida. He entered a pretrial diversion program after a 2009 arrest on charges of resisting an officer without violence on the Florida State University campus. In September 2012, he was arrested in Hillsborough County on a charge of grand theft, later dropped after he completed pre-trial diversion. Donna McDonald, who said she was McDonald’s stepmother, declined to comment Friday. "We’re still in shock," she said. • • • The petition Garrison filed also details the Dec. 30 attack. McDonald was waiting for Garrison in her apartment. He forced her to the ground, wrapped his arm around her neck and covered her mouth, the petition says. "He was forcing my head down with such force that it felt like my neck was going to snap," Garrison wrote. "I couldn’t breathe. .?.?. I was praying for God not to let me die this way and leave my daughter without a mother." Wise, the neighbor who intervened, said he hurt this shoulder in the fight. McDonald is 6-foot-2 and weighed 185 pounds when he was arrested in 2012. A former mixed martial arts fighter, Wise works as a property manager. After McDonald fled, Wise went back to his apartment to get his gun. When he returned, the lights were on in Garrison’s apartment and he saw blood and strawberry daiquiri spilled on the floor. Garrison, able to stand, told Wise, "That’s my ex-husband." Some of Wise’s family asked him why he got involved at all: "When it’s a child or a woman, I can’t stick my head in the sand." • • • In the following weeks, Wise became something of a guardian for Garrison. He would text her coming back from his 4:30 a.m. daily trip to the gym and she would leave for work after he made sure all was clear. He worried McDonald might attack him. About seven weeks ago, Wise stopped hearing from Garrison. He thought she was in protective custody. He was shocked and shed tears when a reporter told him Friday she had been killed. "I can’t believe it’s been four months and they hadn’t caught that guy," Wise said. The Sheriff’s Office used every tool it had to find McDonald, including help from the local U.S. Marshals’ task force, sheriff’s spokesman Danny Alvarez said. "This is a tragic incident," Alvarez said. "You can fathom how frustrating it is to be looking for him at this level and not find him." Garrison was in her second stint teaching primary school grades at Corbett Prep, said headmaster Joyce Burick Swarzman. Seven weeks ago, Garrison went on leave so she could head to Georgia. "She knew what she needed to do," Burick Swarzman told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday. The school learned of Garrison’s death Thursday night. Burick Swarzman said staffers planned to tell children Friday. "This is one of these senseless things that are unthinkable, unimaginable, and horrific and so unfair," she said. "We are all mourning her loss." Garrison was beloved by the students, well-liked at school. "Her dream was for her baby to grow up here at Corbett Prep. Everyone will miss her light." Times senior researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Christopher O’Donnell at (813) 226-3446 or codonnell@tampabay.com. Follow @codonnell_Times.

Shoshanna Smith
4,084 supporters