“Florida’s Controversial Police Recruitment Initiative Draws Criticism for Attracting Violent Officers: Analysis”

2023-05-23 13:36:29

Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis wants to bring police officers from other states to Florida with a recruitment initiative.

Image: John Raoux/AP/dpa

Ron DeSantis promises cops who come to Florida support and a check. The offer was followed by a particularly large number of civil servants who were prone to violence.

No time? blue News summarizes for you

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis launched an initiative during the pandemic to attract cops from other states to Florida.
  • DeSantis promises officials the respect and support they are denied in liberal states.
  • The program has attracted a particularly large number of police officers who have received complaints of in-office violence or who have been charged since arriving in Florida.
  • Charges include offenses as serious as murder or kidnapping.
  • DeSantis’ announcement that he will enter the Republican presidential race is expected later this week.

So far, Ron DeSantis has always evaded an explanation of his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. That could change soon: The governor of Florida is expected to officially announce his candidacy later this week.

DeSantis’ campaign will likely focus on cultural issues: the 44-year-old has earned a reputation as a conservative hardliner in this area.

Initiative attracted conservative officials

During the Corona pandemic, he launched a police officer recruitment initiative aimed at police officers who reject the strict Corona measures in other states or feel neglected by their liberal communities.

“If you’re mistreated or unsupported – whether you’re on the West Coast, whether you’re in New York or in Chicago,” DeSantis said in April, “we have your back.” Florida wants to “support the people who protect us”.

Since then, more than $13.5 million has flowed into this program, nine million of which went into the pockets of the recruits themselves: a bonus for relocating to Florida. Like the news site “Daily Dot” now found outthere are particularly many violent officers among the police officers attracted by the initiative.

With the police car in a crowd

Complaints have been made against some of abuses of office: extortion, deprivation of liberty or the use of unreasonable force. Other police officers are being prosecuted for serious offenses such as murder or kidnapping.

One of them – Justin Burgos, the son of a senior New York City police officer – is said to have driven his car into a Black Lives Matter demonstration in July 2021. An 18-year-old protester was injured. Burgos was 18 himself at the time.

A year later, as part of DeSantis’ initiative, Burgos was hired by the police department of the city of Apopka, Florida. In return, he received a check for a value of almost $6,700.

Police officer charged with murder

Another former New York official, along with colleagues, is said to have beaten a peaceful demonstrator to the ground with a baton and cut off his air supply. The incident occurred amid protests over the killing of George Floyd, who was kneeled on by a police officer until he died.

Other police officers were only charged after they were relocated to Florida. A police officer has been charged with the murder of her husband – five months after she started duty in Florida.

Democrats: DeSantis abuses his power

A police officer is said to have held a woman against her will in his house. He is said to have choked the victim, pulled his hair and, after trying to escape, forcibly brought him back into the house. He has been charged with assault and kidnapping. The police, who hired him six months earlier, then fired the man.

Just last week, Democrats called for an investigation into DeSantis’ use of the Florida Police Department. The governor is accused of using the police to intimidate voters and thus abusing his power. DeSantis created a police division tasked with uncovering voter fraud.

DeSantis in polls behind Trump

Suspects who were not informed in time by the authorities that they were not allowed to vote have also been arrested. The Democrats accuse DeSantis of using the police to push the Republican agenda that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and of primarily targeting black citizens.

In polls of Republican voters, Trump has increasingly left DeSantis behind in recent months.

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