Andrew Joseph III, Tampa teen killed after being ejected from state fair, honored with Riverwalk paver

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On Sunday, more than six years after he died outside the Florida State Fair, Andrew Joseph III’s family gathered outside the Tampa Bay History Center to christen a paver bearing his name.

Joseph was just 14 years old when he was ejected from the fair after being detained by law enforcement who did not call his parents. He died trying to walk across Interstate 4. 

“He was searched and then later ejected, despite no evidence of wrongdoing. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office ejected him by abandoning him, a 14 year old child, near a dark, busy highway, where he was tragically struck by a vehicle and died,” a release from the Andrew Joseph Foundation and Restorative Justice Coalition says. “No one at the HCSO nor the fairgrounds called his parents, despite him being a minor in their custody. This act of gross negligence has not been met with accountability. As we move through a time of civil unrest pertaining to racial injustice, we will honor the legacy of Andrew Joseph III in a peaceful assembly.”

Photographer Yvonne Gougelet told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that FIREE (Florida Indigenous Rights and Environmental Equality) held a prayer ceremony on the steps of the history center and that guest speakers, included one of Joseph's teachers—who said he was an honor roll student, who never got in trouble, despite what the media and police try to say—"Circle of Mothers", a group of mothers whose children have been killed by police, and Donna Davis from Black Lives Matter Tampa. —Ray Roa

07/12/2020 | Photos by Yvonne Gougelet