If you back the blue, you must back Maury Hernandez

Broward Sheriff Deputy Maury Hernandez
An act of heroism was almost fatal, and it's time the state made it right.

The Maury Hernandez case is so simple.

A state government official and agency knowingly violated Florida law, and it led to a rising star in law enforcement being permanently disabled.

In this case, “permanently disabled” included: three weeks in a coma and on a ventilator; multiple brain surgeries; two years in a rehab hospital; bullet fragments lodged in his brain; and profound and permanent brain, physical and emotional injuries.

What makes it worse is that Hernandez met that fate while acting heroically. 

While investigating another crime as a Broward County Sheriff’s deputy, he saw a man racing through red lights on his motorcycle, jeopardizing public safety. Hernandez took off in pursuit. After a confrontation, the man shot Hernandez in the head.

Here’s the catch: The shooter was a convicted felon. He was carrying the gun illegally, but only because a state bureaucrat allowed him to carry it. 

Actually, “allowed” doesn’t do the situation justice. The felon twice admitted to the state government official that he was carrying a gun — a clear violation of his probation — and the state employee took no action to enforce the law and allowed the felon to carry the gun anyway.

That was 16 years ago. Charlie Crist was Governor and a Republican, to put it in perspective.

Hernandez has been fighting for justice ever since and it’s time the system worked to properly honor his sacrifice and right this wrong, as is surely possible in the upcoming 2024 Legislative Session, in which a relief bill has been filed affording Hernandez the recompense he justly deserves.

There are promising signs that positive momentum is finally working to help balance the scales of justice for the heroic Hernandez. This year, he’s trying again. In an inspiring way, the law enforcement community and state legislators are starting to rally to Hernandez’s side in support.

This week, Hernandez appeared before a delegation of Miami-Dade state lawmakers. He was flanked by dozens of law enforcement officers, who took time off to support him. He made his case. 

“It would be an honor to have the support of this delegation,” Hernandez said to the delegation Tuesday. “It would be monumental to me.”

Men and women of the blue and the badge have risen to support an injured brother in an emotional demonstration of solidarity.

“We’re here today to not just ask you for support. We’re here to ask you guys to fight for this bill,’ said Matt Cowart, representing the International Union of Police Associations as well as the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. “Fight for its passage. Do not leave his call for help to go unanswered.”

Hernandez’s and Cowart’s presentations were greeted with a prolonged round of applause from the Miami-Dade delegation.

Why was a Broward deputy meeting with a Miami-Dade legislative delegation? Hernandez is a son of Miami-Dade County. He moved to Hialeah from Cuba at age 3. He was raised in Miami-Dade County schools and Miami-Dade colleges and has lived in the county his entire life. His younger brother, Josue, was standing next to his brother at the presentation this week wearing his Hallandale Police uniform.

Hernandez’s financial burden is almost incalculable. His medical care — both what has been done and what will need to be done in the future — will easily reach into the millions of dollars. His lost wages and earning power are heaped on top of that. And then, of course, because of the state’s negligence, his quality of life has suffered profoundly.

But there is still hope: Rep. Alex Rizo (HB 6005) and Sen. Tom Wright (SB 14) are sponsoring bills to finally bring justice to Hernandez after all this time. Rizo and Wright and others know this is the only way to make this situation right.

For 16 years, the state has found reasons not to do the right thing. For 16 years, the state has turned its back on a chance to “back the blue.” For 16 years, Hernandez has sought overdue relief.

But this year, the tide is turning toward this simple truth: Maury Hernandez deserves justice.

For everyone who follows the Process and works in it, justice for Maury must be a 2024 Session priority — for leaders in the legislative and executive branches, and for all of us.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


  • Mama always said cops are like a box of chocolates

    November 29, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    They’ll kill your dog.

  • Sloan Cowart

    November 29, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you for rallying around your fellow brother of the badge to right this wrong. Stay vigilant & you will get this done.

Comments are closed.


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