DeSantis
Says that Andrew Gillum said, "Police and prisons have no place in justice."

Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 in an interview

Mostly False

DeSantis puts words in Gillum's mouth that he didn't say in Florida governor race

In this Monday, June 11, 2018 file photo, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum speaks during a gubernatorial debate ahead of the Democratic primary for governor in Miramar, Fla. (AP)

Republican Ron DeSantis and GOP groups have painted Democrat Andrew Gillum as anti-police.

In an interview with Sean Hannity on Oct. 30, 2018, DeSantis doubled down on his claim that Gillum is anti-law enforcement.

"There is no doubt that there's corruption in Tallahassee," DeSantis said. "It is one of the most corrupt cities in Florida. It also has the highest crime rate in Florida. And this is a guy who has taken a pledge attacking our men and women in law enforcement. He will not standby them."

A few moments later, Hannity said he had read that Gillum was "not a big fan of police."

DeSantis responded, "He said police and prisons have no place in justice. It’s outrageous."

Gillum is the Democratic candidate for Florida governor and the mayor of Tallahassee. He’s up against DeSantis, a former congressman backed by President Donald Trump. We’ve looked at DeSantis’ and Gillum’s claims about Tallahassee’s crime rate as well as attacks on Gillum about an FBI probe.

Gillum never said that "police and prisons have no place in justice." When we asked the DeSantis campaign what their evidence was, they pointed to Gillum’s relationship with the group Dream Defenders. We'll explain the connection, but Gillum never said those words. 

The pledge

DeSantis often zeroes in on the social justice group Dream Defenders, a group that has raised concerns about racial profiling since the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin, the young unarmed African-American teenager shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla.

Gillum’s support for the Dream Defenders goes back to the group’s formation, although both the Dream Defenders and Gillum have said they do not share the entirety of each other’s platforms.

A Gillum spokesman told the Miami Herald in late September that the Dream Defenders were leaders for the struggle for social justice in Florida, but that Gillum did not agree with several of the group’s positions.

Dream Defenders spokeswoman Nailah Summers agreed, telling the Herald that the Dream Defenders were "more left-leaning" than Gillum and that they disagreed on topics including the role of police and prisons, the functionality of borders and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

When DeSantis said Gillum signed a pledge attacking law enforcement, he was referring to the Freedom Papers elected officials pledge. This pledge is a two-page document that calls on those who sign it to pledge not to take a penny from the NRA or the Geo Group, a private prison operator.

"I will fight for a Florida that divests from prisons, detention centers, guns and police and invests in the basic needs and safety of its people, especially its children," the pledge stated. "I will fight for a reallocation of our state budget from police and prisons to good food, affordable housing, quality health care and public education."

Gillum signed the pledge in June 2018, along with the three other Democratic gubernatorial candidates at the time, according to Dream Defenders spokeswoman Nailah Summers. The candidates signed the pledge following a debate co-hosted by the Dream Defenders. Summers said 30 Florida politicians have signed the pledge.

The Freedom Papers elected officials pledge is a different document than the Freedom Papers, a longer document that outlines the Dream Defenders’ views in more detail. However, the two-page elected officials pledge contains the line, "I pledge my support to the Freedom Papers."

The Freedom Papers is a 20-page document that makes a series of statements about social and economic issues, particularly those that affect poor people, minorities and immigrants. The papers raise concerns about underpaid teachers, income inequality, rent hikes and calls for open elections and an end to violence.

The Freedom Papers document includes a few paragraphs that are highly critical of police and prisons, stretching back to the days when police helped catch escaped slaves.

"Police and prisons have no place in 'justice,' " this longer document stated. "Police and prisons aren’t just racist but they work to enforce the separations of rich and poor. True safety can’t be found where it was never meant to."

The papers also state that prisons separate rich from poor.

"We deserve real safety over our cities, our states, our homes, our schools, our workplaces, and our community centers," the pledge stated.

Gillum’s relationship with police as mayor

Gillum has called for criminal justice reform, but his record shows that he wants to work with law enforcement.

In a 2014 Tallahassee Democrat op-ed, Gillum talked about a ride-along he went on with Tallahassee police and implored community members to support them.

"For the sake of my children and yours, I hope you will join me in supporting our law-enforcement officers and investing your time and talents for the betterment of our community," Gillum wrote at the time.

During Gillum’s tenure as mayor, Tallahassee added more than 50 police officer positions. Tallahassee started several law enforcement-related programs focused on fostering relationships between community members and police and on improving recidivism rates while Gillum was mayor and earlier while he was a city commissioner.

Our ruling

Gillum did sign the Dream Defenders elected officials pledge, but we could find no evidence of him saying "police and prisons have no place in justice." That’s a line from the Dream Defenders’ longer document, the Freedom Papers.

The pledge Gillum signed focuses on divesting from prisons, guns and police and putting money into safety and education. Signees also agree not to take money from the NRA or a private prison group.

The longer document, the Freedom Papers, expands on the Dream Defenders’ views with 20-pages of statements about a range of social and economic issues.

The two-page elected officials pledge contains the line, "I pledge my support to the Freedom Papers." However, Gillum and the Dream Defenders maintain that they do not see eye-to-eye on several issues and that the Dream Defenders are "more left-leaning" than Gillum.

We rate this Mostly False. ‚Äč

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Mostly False
Says that Andrew Gillum said, "Police and prisons have no place in justice."
in an interview
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
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