Sheriffs call on Andrew Gillum to withdraw his pledge to Dream Defenders

by | Oct 25, 2018

More than half of Florida’s elected sheriffs have signed a letter calling on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum to withdraw his pledge to Dream Defenders, which the sheriffs describe as a radical, anti-police organization.

The issue surfaced again during Wednesday night’s debate at Broward College in Davie.

Gillum’s opponent, Republican Ron DeSantis, once again was critical of the Democrat for his connection to groups like the Miami-based social justice group Dream Defenders. The group’s platform claims police have no place in society.

“It doesn’t get more divisive than the Dream Defenders, and Mr. Gillum has not condemned the Dream Defenders,” DeSantis said during the second debate.

The group, formed after the controversial shooting death of Trayvon Martin, espouses open borders and states on its website that police are racist and have no place in society. It has likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to an “Apartheid” system.

In their letter, the sheriffs urge Gillum to “immediately and unequivocally withdraw your pledge to the organization, Dream Defenders. After learning of this organization’s disturbing and anti-law enforcement position and statements, we believe that any candidate wishing to lead our state should in no way be aligned with this radical group.”

“I am proud of the more than 35 Sheriffs who are calling on my opponent, Andrew Gillum, to once and for all disavow the Dream Defenders pledge that he signed,” said DeSantis. “In last night’s debate, Andrew Gillum once again skirted the issue. The pledge he signed says he supports the Freedom Papers, the very manifesto that attacks our state’s police officers.”

Gillum has said he doesn’t support all of the views of the Dream Defenders but he has shared an alliance with the group primarily over his opposition to the state allowing private prisons to be operated in Florida and his support for  the abolishment of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Phillip Agnew, co-founder of the Dream Defenders, recently said in an interview with Democracy Now that the group considers Gillum “part of the movement.”

But a spokeswoman for the Dream Defenders told the Miami Herald last month that the organization and Gillum disagree on certain topics, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the role of police and prisons, and the functionality of borders.

“We are more left-leaning than Gillum,” said Nailah Summers.  “He doesn’t believe in everything we believe in, but he’s still the best option for Florida.”

But the sheriffs who signed the letter to Gillum asking him to rescind his pledge to the group say it goes too far.

“The pledge you signed not only calls for you to defund police and prisons, but the papers that accompany this pledge wrongly claim, ‘Police were never meant to protect and serve me and you…Police and prisons have no place in ‘justice’…Police and prisons aren’t just racist but they work to enforce the separations of rich and poor.’

“We believe you will agree that anyone seeking to be Florida’s next Governor should support the men and women who put on a badge daily and risk their lives to protect their communities,” the sheriffs wrote.



  1. Anonymous

    Gillum is not what We in Florida need as a Governor. We need to support our

    • Mary Peterson


      • Garry

        Gillum will be the death of Florida if elected! He is a crook that should not be able to even run for Governor. His tax proposal will be the end of the working class! Vote Republican, and save yourself and the state of Florida!

        • D.

          Nah….Not true..

        • Anonymous

          Gullim will turn Florida into a sh*t hole. I personally do not want to be enslaved. Long live freedom. God Bless the Republic of the USA and the world.

  2. Tim

    This guy will destroy everything that’s good about Florida 🌴

  3. James Simmons

    Guillum is going to destroy the state and make it lawless place that will kill our tourism which is the life blood for many communities and the state in general

    • D.

      These last 5 or so comments condemming
      Mr. Gillum are not true in the least.
      A. Gillum is a Democrat whose agenda
      is to make positive change in Florida. Considering that our state has been dominated by Republicans
      for years in the House, the Senate
      and the governor’s office, many people are looking for change.

      • Anonymous

        He is not the change we want.

  4. Edward E.

    Agree that Gillum is worst case for Florida…he wants to rob middle class and others to pay for a grandiose Medicaid and expand welfare for those too lazy to work but have baby after baby and again, expect others taxes to pay it all. His support of Dreamdefenders and other radical eve oriented groups is reason enuff not to vote for him.

  5. D.

    The “Dream Defenders” organization
    is one of a variety of social justice
    groups. They seek to fix some inequalities that still exist.
    They are not dangerous. They are
    simply challenging us with their
    ideas. Part of their agenda includes
    criminal justice reform and reforming
    how police treat poor people and
    minorities etc. The group does
    not wish to abolish police nor
    do they advocate lawlessness.

    • Anonymous

      I think you have a problem with comprehension. That program is very destructive. It sounds like a socialist program to me.

  6. D.

    Regarding law enforcement and prisons with a new governor, there will be many constraints on Mr. Gillum, if he is elected. It is not likely that a new Democrat governor could make extreme
    changes. The notion that a governor
    would “de-fund police and prisons”
    appears to be a way to instill
    fear, especially now, a week before
    the elections.

  7. Rick Coston

    Gillum’s anti business policies will reverse progress over the past 20 years of attracting businesses to Florida and will separate families by returning Florida to the days that graduates from our state’s world class academic institutions had to leave the state to find employment.

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