Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony would ‘firmly reject’ any Trump offer to send federal troops into region

broward sheriff Gregory Tony
Tony's statement comes as the Donald Trump administration has threatened to send troops into other states around the country to quell unrest.

As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal troops into several cities and counties nationwide, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony says he would reject such an offer, calling the Trump administration’s actions in Portland, Oregon “unprecedented and unconstitutional.”

Protests over George Floyd‘s death in Minneapolis spread across the country in previous months but have mostly died down. Those demonstrations have continued in Portland, however, prompting federal officials to send in troops — against the wishes of local officials — to protect federal property in the city.

“As a constitutional officer of Broward County, I’m responsible for safeguarding the liberties and constitutional rights of our residents,” Tony said in a Friday statement.

“Recently, federal agents were deployed into city streets across America at the direction of President Trump. This has created fear for Americans who are now watching federal law enforcement firing non-lethal weapons at protesters, deploying pepper spray, striking individuals with batons without provocation, and egregiously seizing American’s freedom without legal justification.”

While there are no public plans to send officers to South Florida, the Trump administration has threatened to send troops to cities other than Portland which are experiencing unrest.

Tony argued Trump and administration officials such as Acting Homeland Secretary Chad Wolf are using federal troops improperly. Many legal experts have agreed. Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice Inspector General, is now conducting a review of the use of force by federal troops in Portland.

“This is what happens when politicians misuse law enforcement,” Tony argued. “It’s wrong, and it further creates distrust between citizens and law enforcement. As Broward County’s Sheriff, I firmly reject the notion of federal officers being unleashed into our community. I will not allow presidential ambitions, or anyone’s politics, to come into Broward County and violate Americans’ rights.”

Tony’s call comes after Rep. Shevrin Jones, who serves parts of Broward County, called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to also rebuff any offers to send federal troops into Florida.

The Sheriff also spoke out about Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police, which has set off a call for widespread police reforms along with protests which, in a minority of instances, have devolved into violence and looting.

“Of all the ways the accused law enforcement officer failed, what alarms me most is that he ignored mercy,” Tony said.

“Mercy, the act of demonstrating compassionate treatment to those in distress, is fundamentally the greatest quality any law enforcement officer — and any leader — can exhibit to the public they serve.”

The Governor appointed Tony to the Broward Sheriff’s role after DeSantis suspended Tony’s predecessor, Scott Israel. Tony is now seeking reelection to the post.

He’s attempted to put police reforms at the center of his platform, releasing ads promising to hold cops responsible when they use unnecessary force.

Though Trump has not yet floated sending troops into Broward County, the region did experience some unrest in the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death, prompting a curfew.

Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Steven Pohorence was suspended after shoving a woman while she knelt on the ground. Later, video from those protests showed officers laughing after firing rubber bullets at protesters. Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione was eventually removed and reassigned in response.

Tony says he recognizes his role in mending distrust felt by some members of the community. He argues, however, that some groups are using “gamesmanship” to divide those seeking to find common ground.

“Nowhere is this gamesmanship clearer than in President Trump’s unprecedented and unconstitutional deployment of federal agents into municipalities such as Portland, Oregon,” Tony asserted.

This is a time for the display of mercy. For a compassionate treatment to those in distress. The American people deserve that compassion from our highest elected official — not conflict, not division, and most certainly not the injection of politics into law enforcement. There is never a suitable time to play politics with public safety.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


9 comments

  • Andrew Nappi

    July 25, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    He is right but…
    I wonder how many task force agreements Sheriff Tony has with the FBI, DEA, ATF and others? This is a fairly easy stance to take given there is virtually zero chance of federal agents being sent to South Florida. To be taken seriously he needs to cut any ties with federal task forces, return any surplus equipment he got from DHS and immediately cease any participation in revenue sharing from federal asset seizures. He also needs to cease and desist from assisting any federal agency with the enforcement of federal gun laws all of which are unconstitutional. Doing anything less is just election year optics.

    “This is what happens when politicians misuse law enforcement,” Tony argued. “It’s wrong, and it further creates distrust between citizens and law enforcement. As Broward County’s Sheriff, I firmly reject the notion of federal officers being unleashed into our community. I will not allow presidential ambitions, or anyone’s politics, to come into Broward County and violate Americans’ rights.”

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 26, 2020 at 8:13 am

    Putin loving scum traitor trump is running on GESTAPO tactics not law and order! Vote out goptrump cult leader PEDOPHILE rapist trump!
    #trumpvirus!

    • SayNoToViolence

      July 26, 2020 at 10:49 am

      Sonja Fitch,

      You are a sick, demented human being. You belong in a country other than the U.S. You are the true cult member, and most likely a PEDOPHILE rapist yourself. #Bidendisease

  • Kim

    July 26, 2020 at 10:05 am

    why would you (Sheriff Tony) even discuss the topic when there’s never been a possibility of this happening in Broward much less in the state. You’ve just shown your true colors that you would allow any type of unrest, violence, killings and protesting in your county and do nothing about it.

  • martin

    July 26, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    it’s an election year….need any other reasons? And thankfully So. Florida has not yet devolved into Mogadeshu 2.0

  • Michael Fisten

    July 26, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    I was very surprised to see Tony’s press release firmly rejecting DHS officers into Broward County, he called deployment of such illegal. That aside am I missing something here?? Are troops being deployed to Broward?? Is there civil unrest here? What a clown… Talk about pandering

    • John McMahon

      August 4, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      GREG Tony is a FRAUD ( who killed a teenager in 1993) , just like your reporter who wrote this one sided commie demokkkcrat article.

      It’s NOT ok to burn cities dummy. If it was your house you would be screaming for the police.

      Hypocritical leftists SNOWFLAKE media , your time is almost up because Americans are fighting back against women beaters and murderers of black people by BLM and subhuman Antifa halfwits!

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 27, 2020 at 4:55 am

    Saynotoviolence May god have mercy on your brainwashed and brain dead soul!

Comments are closed.


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