Instead of moving forward with a plan to be the scheduled headliner for a fundraiser this past Sunday evening being done in the name of Lee Zeldin, a New York GOP gubernatorial candidate, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) chose to make an appearance attending a memorial service for a police officer who had been killed in the line of duty.
The memorial service on Monday was in honor of Special Agent Jose Perez of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement who was struck by a vehicle being driven by 35-year-old Ysmael Sandoval in Miami on the 2nd of August. Perez passed away on the 20th of August. Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, alongside Attorney General Ashley Moody, were also in attendance at the service.
FDLE mourns the passing of FDLE Special Agent Jose Perez, who died in the line of duty after valiantly fighting for his life for 17 days after being hit by another driver. pic.twitter.com/qH5SWFnONo
— FDLE (@fdlepio) August 21, 2022
“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of Agent Perez, who spent his entire life serving others from the United States armed forces to more than 30 years in law enforcement,” expressed Mark Glass, the FDLE Commissioner. “Our country, our state, our community and FDLE are better because of his dedication. Rest in peace our brave hero. You will never be forgotten.”
Zeldin stated that Perez was a prominent member of the security team for DeSantis.
“Today we mourn the tragic loss of FDLE Special Agent Jose Perez, who died in the line of duty,” posted Casey DeSantis, the first lady of Florida, via social media. “With over 20 years in the U.S. armed forces & more than 30 years in law enforcement, he lived a valiant life serving our nation & state. The entire @fdlepio community is in our prayers.”
Today we mourn the tragic loss of FDLE Special Agent Jose Perez, who died in the line of duty. With over 20 years in the U.S. armed forces & more than 30 years in law enforcement, he lived a valiant life serving our nation & state. The entire @fdlepio community is in our prayers. pic.twitter.com/uLabr70SJh
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) August 29, 2022
As stated on the arrest report from the incident, blood tests of the driver showed Sandoval’s Blood Alcohol level at a staggering .146; while the legal limit in Florida is just .08. Additionally, Sandoval also tested positive for marijuana and cocaine.
One spokesperson for the Zeldin campaign stated that DeSantis would be making another trip to stand with Zeldin at a different event, as reported by The New York Post.
Back near the end of November 2021, DeSantis officially announced $1,000 bonuses for all of the state’s firefighters, law enforcement officers, and first responders, saying, “We will always support our law enforcement.”
DeSantis also put out his own statement saying, “While other states have turned their backs on law enforcement, even calling to ‘defund the police,’ in Florida we continue to support the men and women in law enforcement. I am proud to propose larger and longer-lasting measures to help our state recruit and retain the best law enforcement officers in the nation and to provide $1,000 bonuses for first responders and law enforcement officers for the second year in a row.”