Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum was slammed by the Broward Sheriff Deputies’ union for being “hostile toward law enforcement.”
The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association condemned the Democrat for signing a “Freedom Pledge” that contains anti-police rhetoric.
According to Breitbart News:
The pledge is a project of Dream Defenders, an anti-Israel, anti-capitalist group with which Gillum has evidenced a longtime close personal and professional relationship.
The pledge cites support for the organization’s socialist-style “Freedom Papers,” which declare that “police and prisons have no place in ‘justice.’” The papers further claim police “were never meant to protect and serve me and you” and “started as slave catchers hired by wealthy plantation owners.”
Jeff Bell, president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, blasted Gillum in a statement.
“This is a blatant attack on our law enforcement community, an insult to the citizens we work to protect, and dishonors the memory of our fallen officers,” Bell wrote.
He appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Saturday, explaining the implications of the mayor of Tallahassee’s actions.
Bell noted Gillum’s experience at the Rockwood Leadership Institute, a training school for progressives based in California, where he “gained radical ideas” which he brought back to the local community in Florida to build support.
“They try and get into lower income communities and spread the lies and the hate and create dissension between law enforcement and the public,” Bell said.
Gillum’s campaign refuted the claims that he was not supportive of police.
“The mayor has been a strong ally of law enforcement in Tallahassee, investing in additional officers to help reduce crime across the city,”Johanna Cervone, spokeswoman for Gillum’s campaign, said in a statement. “As Mayor Gillum has previously said, he will not take money from the private prison industry and instead will invest in community policing, smart justice and strategies that work with communities to reduce crime and create better opportunities for all Floridians.”
Bell slammed the statement as “empty words” from the Democratic candidate who is running against Republican nominee Ron DeSantis who has been endorsed by the Broward Sheriff’s union.
“He wants to say that he works well with law enforcement but the proof is in the numbers,” Bell said, pointing out that the city Gillum presides over as mayor has one of the highest crime rates in the state of Florida.
Bell accused Gillum of “fudging the numbers” and called out his association with the radical Dream Defenders, a group with which Gillum has had a long and friendly relationship, according to Breitbart News.
“Dream Defenders Action Fund, the electoral and c4 nonprofit arm of Dream Defenders, was part of a progressive coalition that reportedly committed $3.5 million to help Gillum win the Democratic primary against Gwen Graham,” Breitbart reported.
In its endorsement of Gillum for governor of Florida, the group declared that his “governorship would completely change the terrain on which our movement is ﬁghting and the makeup of the Democratic Party itself,” adding that Gillum’s “progressive platform for Florida creates much more favorable conditions for our movement and our people.”
The radical group announced it is “ﬁghting for power for Black, immigrant and poor people in Florida, in solidarity with people all around the world. We are a socialist, abolitionist, feminist and internationalist organization. Our vision for Florida – the Freedom Papers – is one where a people-centered state replaces our current proﬁt-centered one.”
Gillum’s signing of the “Freedom Pledge,” which promises not to take donations from groups like the National Rifle Association while fighting to reallocate the state budget from prisons and police to other needs, is a significant factor to note in his campaign, according to Bell.
“When Mr. Gillum wants to align himself with these radical groups like the Dream Defenders,” he said, “that sends a message to the average citizen in the state of Florida, that it’s an insult to law enforcement, it’s a dishonor to every single law enforcement officer that’s given his life in the state of Florida to protect the citizens.”
President Trump has strongly endorsed DeSantis. He tweeted more specific support early Saturday via Twitter: