Law Enforcement Lauds DeSantis for Suspending Woke State Attorney: ‘It’s About the Victims and Their Voices’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference to announce the expansion of a new, piloted substance abuse and recovery network to disrupt the opioid epidemic, at the Space Coast Health Foundation in Rockledge, Florida. The Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) network of addiction care was piloted in Palm Beach …
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Several members of law enforcement on Thursday lauded Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for taking decisive action and suspending woke State Attorney Andrew Warren, whom he said has disregarded the rule of law.

Flanked by several members of law enforcement, DeSantis spoke of the emergence of woke prosecutors who selectively enforce the rule of law, allowing crime to run rampant in communities across the country. This trend was occurring in Florida’s Hillsborough County, under State Attorney General Andrew Warren, who said he would refuse to enforce the law on prohibitions of sex changes for minors or limitations on abortion.

“We don’t elect people in one part of the state to have veto power over what the entire state decides on these important issues. The constitution of Florida has vested the veto power in the governor, not an individual state attorneys and so when you flagrantly violate your oath of office, when you make yourself above the law, you have violated your duty,” DeSantis said.

“You have neglected your duty and you are displaying a lack of competence to be able to perform those duties, and so today, we are suspending state Attorney Andrew Warren,” he announced, replacing him with Judge Susan Lopez.

“We are not going to allow this pathogen that’s been around the country of ignoring the law, we are not going to let that get a foothold here in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said before introducing several members of law enforcement, who thanked the governor for stepping up and taking action.

Governor Ron DeSantis / Facebook

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister was the first to speak after the governor, stating that the governor’s suspension of Warren is not political, but “about law and order.”

“It’s about ensuring our loved ones are safe. It’s about the victims and their voices. There aren’t Republican and Democratic victims, just victims. They matter. And they should be heard,” he said, stating that Warren, over the last several years, has “acted as an adjudicator of all, as some type of supreme authority by reducing charges, dropping cases, and singlehandedly determining what crimes will be legal or illegal in our county.”

The Associated Press

Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, right, speaks during a news conference Monday, June 15, 2020, in Tampa, Florida. Looking on is Bishop Thomas Scott. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

He gave one “more egregious” example which occurred in September, involving the suspect, who after shooting someone, opened fire on a residence “where that victim sought refuge and protection.”

“Inside of that house was the victim, his mother, other children, and extended family members who were forced to take cover and hide,” he said, explaining that another mother and her twin babies were nearby in a vehicle.

Judge Susan Lopez, left, acting Florida State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit, speaks during a news conference with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, second from right, and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, right, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. DeSantis announced that he was suspending State Attorney Andrew Warren, of the 13th Judicial Circuit, due to "neglect of duty." (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Judge Susan Lopez, left, acting Florida State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit, speaks during a news conference with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, second from right, and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, right, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Tampa, Florida. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

“One of the shooters, our suspect, was identified and arrested just a short few days later. After being released from jail, he was caught and arrested for committing another burglary,” he said, adding that the State Attorney’s Office dropped the ball.

“Earlier this year, this very same suspect was again arrested for carrying a concealed firearm. and just last week arrested for the second time on charges of carrying a concealed firearm,” he said. “My point is, like too many cases, why was this violent offender not held responsible for the original shooting?”

“The state attorney’s office explanation to our detective is the depositions would have been too lengthy and complicated,” he said, adding that they believe this suspect has a “gang affiliation and involvement in an unsolved homicide.”

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd emphasized that police simply want to enforce the law, noting that he has spoken to sheriffs from the “largest jurisdictions in the entire nation” including the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office. 

“And you know what they tell me? They tell me we got a dumpster fire going on in this nation. And you know, who’s getting burned by this dumpster fire, the working people,” he said, naming issues in areas such as New Orleans, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Chicago, and Portland. 

“So what’s the commonality here? Just go look for yourself. Look at the data. The murders are up. Innocent people are being murdered where prosecutors don’t do their job,” he said. 

“We took an oath to tell the truth to uphold the Constitution and to support the laws in the government. And we do that and we’re led by the greatest governor in the United States of America,” Grady added, thanking the governor for not only protecting “the people behind the gated communities.”

“You protect the people who clean the gates on those communities. Thank you, God bless you,” he said, followed by Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, who echoed those sentiments.

State Attorney General Ashley Moody also spoke at the press conference, noting that Warren “proudly joined with prosecutors from New York, Washington, [and] L.A.” when he first took office “and said I will not enforce and be tough on crime — probably I will not be tough on crime.”

“And thereafter, we saw repeatedly his refusal, his outright statements. I will not enforce this law. I will not enforce that law. I will not do this. Let me tell you who makes the laws and decides what’s criminal. It’s you. It’s the people of this state through their elected representatives,” Moody said.

“They decide what the law should be for the protection of their communities and their families. An executive cannot come in and eradicate that, do away with that, ignore that, because that’s what creates instability,” she said.

“When a prosecutor puts crime above law in order, you’re gonna have a problem,” Moody added.

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