The past several years have witnessed the radical left using law enforcement as a political target, which has increased the risks for those in uniform and hurt public safety. Andrew Gillum, the so-called “democratic socialist” candidate for governor of Florida, represents the triumph of the progressive left’s approach to law enforcement, and a victory by him in November would lead to a statewide increase in crime.
That Florida would see such a rise under Gillum is not fanciful speculation but an obvious inference from his tenure as mayor of Tallahassee. On his watch, the city/Leon County metro area has had the highest crime rate in the state for four years running. Last year, Tallahassee had the highest number of murders in the city’s history.
Incredibly, Gillum’s former chief of staff, Dustin Daniels, who is running to succeed him as mayor, is campaigning aggressively against Gillum’s failed leadership. “Tallahassee had the highest number of murders in history last year,” Daniels wrote in a campaign mailer, “and we top the state for the highest crime rate. WE MUST DO BETTER.”
According to Neighborhood Scout, which has analyzed crime statistics for cities across the country, Tallahassee “has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities.” This means that “[w]ithin Florida, more than 97 percent of the communities have a lower crime rate than Tallahassee.” Indeed, in Tallahassee, the “violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes.” Not to be outdone, the city also features high rates of property crimes, including “one of the highest rates of motor vehicle theft in the nation.”
It is simply inarguable that Gillum has failed to keep the city of Tallahassee safe.
Given his ideological radicalism, it is not surprising that he has failed so spectacularly. In fact, Gillum is the most anti-law-enforcement candidate to be nominated by a major party in modern Florida history.
Take, for example, his strong support for the radical group Dream Defenders. During a Democratic gubernatorial primary debate, Gillum endorsed the agenda of the Dream Defenders from the stage, gushing that he was “pleased and proud” to “stand up for” and “stand beside” the group, which has, among other stances, likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the apartheid system.
Gillum received the endorsement of the Dream Defenders and promised to support the group’s manifesto, The Freedom Papers, which denounce law enforcement as “racist” and liken the police to “slave catchers.” The manifesto calls for the abolishment of the police and prisons, asserting that “police and prisons have no place in ‘justice.’” Accordingly, the Freedom Papers call for a radical reduction in law enforcement funding, demanding “reinvestment … into social services in our community.”
This manifesto slanders all those in Florida who don the uniform to protect and serve their communities, which, of course, includes law enforcement personnel of all races, colors and creeds. By sliming law enforcement as racist and by likening police officers to slave catchers, the Gillum-endorsed Freedom Papers place a target on the backs of officers.
What’s more, enacting the call for massive reductions in funding for law enforcement would virtually guarantee a crime wave in Florida. Outside of Tallahassee, crime has dropped dramatically in the state over that past 20 years, yet this decline was achieved through hard work and support for law enforcement by elected officials. Combining funding cuts with a governor who is antagonistic to law enforcement would spell disaster for the safety of Florida’s communities.
So, too, would the call by the Freedom Papers for an “end to borders,” which dovetails will Gillum’s call to “abolish ICE.” The manifesto chastises the United States for creating “highly militarized, totally arbitrary borders” and endorses the idea that it is foreigners, not we the American people, who get to determine who comes into the United States.
Of course, Gillum not only supports the “abolish ICE” movement but would make Florida, like California, a sanctuary state. He has pledged not to cooperate with the Trump administration regarding the removal of illegal aliens from the state, which will place the people of Florida at risk of criminal activity committed by illegal aliens who should have been removed from the United States. This will only lead to the creation of more “angel moms” – mothers who have lost children to illegal alien crime.
It has been said that the race for Florida governor between Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis is the starkest choice in the country, and this is most true when it comes to each candidate’s approach to law enforcement.
DeSantis is a decorated Navy veteran who served in Iraq and has also served as a federal prosecutor. He has deep connections to the law enforcement community, which he has stood by throughout his time in Congress. DeSantis opposes sanctuary cities and will make Florida cooperate with ICE to remove criminal aliens from the state. Whereas Gillum is currently embroiled in a corruption scandal and is a target of law enforcement, DeSantis has served with integrity and is viewed with affection by law enforcement.
The Nov. 6 election presents Florida voters with a clear choice. It is highly unlikely that they will want to gamble with the safety of their communities by embracing a candidate like Gillum.