Ron DeSantis Suspends Florida’s Only Black Female State Attorney
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seems determined to silence Black people.
In a random move, DeSantis suspended Democratic Orlando-area State Attorney Monique Worrell, NBC News reported. Worrell is the only Black woman serving as a local prosecutor in Florida. The announcement was made during a sudden press conference in Tallahassee. Top law enforcement officials and DeSantis’s administration staffers filled the room. While his team was given a heads-up on Aug. 8, the media wasn’t alerted until almost 30 minutes beforehand.
Worrell is the second elected state prosecutor to be suspended by the presidential candidate. In August 2022, DeSantis suspended Tampa-area prosecutor Andrew Warren after Warren vowed that he wouldn’t bring charges under Florida’s new 15-week abortion ban.
A federal judge declared the decision unconstitutional but wouldn’t overturn the suspension. When Warren filed a challenge, it was thrown out by the DeSantis-leaning Florida Supreme Court.
Worrell and Warren have been targets of DeSantis and his camp for a while, winning their campaigns with assistance from Democratic megadonor George Soros. The controversial governor has mentioned Soros in campaign emails, stating he is the “only elected official in America to remove a ‘progressive’ Soros-funded district attorney”—taking shots at Warren’s suspension.
After receiving news of her suspension, Worrell made a statement, calling DeSantis a “weak dictator.”
“This is an outrage. Three years ago, I was elected by the people of the ninth judicial circuit to lead this circuit,” Worrell said.
“And yes, to do things unconventionally, to do things differently, but I didn’t hide, I didn’t say I would do things and didn’t do them, I didn’t say I wouldn’t do things and not did them. I did exactly what I said I would do, and that is what you want from an elected official.”
State Attorney Monique Worrell responds to Desantis removing her: “If we are mourning anything this morning, it’s the loss of democracy. I am your duly elected State Attorney, and nothing done by a weak dictator can change that.” pic.twitter.com/3Jna55HNQG
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) August 9, 2023
Worrell’s suspension comes months after she defended her record of high-profile cases, according to Click Orlando, including the headlining February 2023 shooting deaths of Nathacha Augustin, 9-year-old T’yonna Major, and Spectrum News 13 reporter Dylan Lyons in Pine Hills.