Florida Democratic Candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum showed his true colors regarding his stance on law enforcement Wednesday, saying that officers are going “too far” if they draw a service weapon, Taser or baton while approaching a suspect.
Gillum -who signed the anti-police “Freedom Pledge” of the activist group Dream Defenders, only to later deny doing so during a debate with Republican candidate Ron DeSantis- was a guest on the podcast “Pod Save America” earlier this week, and said that he feels he isn’t the “anti-police” candidate conservatives are portraying him as.
“All this stuff that they say, I’ve got to let them know, anti-police? No. I’m for police accountability, but law enforcement society cannot work and, quite frankly, law enforcement cannot do its job if it does not have a trusting relationship with the community,” Gillum said. “At the time that a law enforcement official has to go to a weapon, to a gun, to a baton, to a taser, then they have already have to go too far by their very presence.” By the very trust that they inspire in community and in society, they are supposed to be able to bring most situations to heel.”
Gillum has a tough road ahead in terms of being in the favor of law enforcement officials- opponent DeSantis has been endorsed by the majority of Sheriffs in the state, as well as city police chiefs. Gillum, however, does have some supporters in law enforcement, including Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who helped Gillum raise money for his campaign.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, Gillum is currently under investigation by the FBI, and came under scrutiny after it was revealed he received a Broadway ticket from an FBI agent posing as a developer. When initially questioned on the matter, he claimed the ticket was a gift from his brother.
In response to the digging up of allegations, Gillum went on the defensive, allegedly accusing DeSantis and other Republicans of racism.
“The Republicans obviously want to distract, want to suggest…All along on the trail, they’ve wanted the people of this state to believe somehow I haven’t deserved what I’ve gotten, I’m unethical, participated in illegal and illicit activity,” he said. “I mean, you name it. The goal is obviously to use my candidacy as a way to reinforce, frankly, stereotypes about black men,”
Tallahassee Reports noted that Gillum’s anti-police pledge with Dream Defenders included rhetoric that was distinctly in opposition of law enforcement.
“I will fight for a Florida that divests from prisons, detention centers, guns and police,” the pledge reads in part.
Gillum denied knowing about the pledge he had signed when DeSantis brought it up during the CNN Florida Gubernatorial debate, saying “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
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