DeSantis' decision to suspend DA involves more than abortion

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has become very popular with the right. He has the “fighter” moniker much like former President Donald Trump, but without some of the political baggage. As such, a lot of people are talking about him as a 2024 presidential possibility.

DeSantis himself isn’t saying a lot in that regard.

What he is doing, though, is living up to that “fighter” descriptor by doing just that. His latest? Removing a prosecutor who refused to do his job.

In a news conference that aired live on Rumble, Facebook, and Twitter, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the immediate suspension of Hillsborough County state attorney Andrew Warren for consistent refusal to enforce certain laws. Accompanied by county sheriffs and law enforcement officers, DeSantis said Warren has publicly put himself above the law, citing Warren’s announcement that he would refuse to enforce any Florida laws limiting abortion in the wake of the Dobbs decision, laws against allowing children to undergo mutilating surgeries, and a consistent record of charges not being brought in violent crime cases.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister spoke, citing the case of a shooting that targeted a young family in which Warren failed to file charges, only for the suspect to continue to commit violent offenses. Chronister said the state attorney told him they didn’t prosecute because the depositions would be too long and complicated.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd then spoke about liberal cities like Chicago, New York, and Portland that have failed to prosecute violent crimes and the resulting spikes in crime in those cities. He noted that it’s the elected prosecutors who decide whether or not to support law enforcement and keep people safe.

DeSantis made a point of distinguishing between prosecutorial discretion (which is rightly exercised on a case-by-case basis) and a consistent stance of refusing to uphold the constitution and laws of Florida.

That is an important distinction, because prosecutorial discretion is a thing, as it should be. Not every case deserves to be prosecuted, believe it or not, and I’m fine with a DA looking at a case and deciding not to prosecute due to various circumstances.

However, to decide to refuse to prosecute in a plethora of instances including robbery is a whole other ball of wax. Especially when these are acts that directly harm law-abiding citizens.

For the record, Hillsborough County is the county that includes Tampa.

Now, as for Warren and his refusal to prosecute, well, I don’t get it.

For example, I can see why someone might wholesale refuse to prosecute non-violent, minor drug offenses. I can see someone not prosecuting victimless crimes as a general rule.

But Warren was refusing to prosecute violent offenses. That’s different. Those crimes have victims.

The only reason I can see for someone to do something like that is to try and allow violent crime rates to soar as a way to discredit DeSantis to some degree.

As such, that just makes his move even more important.

Of course, I shouldn’t ascribe malice to something that can be adequately ascribed to incompetence, and it’s possible that Warren is just a complete idiot.

Could also be a little from column “A” and a little from column “B.”