Diaz for PBC Sheriff: Apologizes & Thanks Epstein survivors
by Tara Pretends Eagle Weber
Lauro Diaz is running for Palm Beach County Sheriff with 34 years service at Palm Beach Sheriff Office, retiring as Captain. He was born in Cuba and grew up in Palm Beach County, graduating from Lake Worth High School and then served in the U. S. Army. This bilingual grandfather continued his education earning a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts Degree in Homeland Security & Emergency Management.
Diaz is a Republican. After 40 years in the Republican party his opponent, Ric Bradshaw flipped and became a Democrat for this race. Bradshaw is infamous for his unsafe, unethical administrative decisions while supervising Jeffrey Epstein's incarceration. As he granted Epstein, a convicted pedophile work release in which Bradshaw allowed Epstein to leave jail 12 hours a day, have unsupervised lunch at his own home while Bradshaw's deputies were outside. During his incarceration, Epstein commited sexual assaults against a child & 18 yo where he trafficked at least one to Florida.The Epstein case was a massive systemic failure with endless human rights violations against girls, teens & young women.
When I heard the details of the decisions that were made by Bradshaw, I was enraged. Where is the accountability as a public official?
As a social worker & VAWA Administrator for the Rape Prevention Program. I felt helpless, disgusted and grew more enraged after watching Filthy Rich, James Patterson's indepth docu-series on Epstein & his endless enablers.
After 30 years as an Independent, a safe status as a social worker I became a Democrat this summer, so I could vote for Alex Freeman for PBC Sheriff in the Democratic primary. I believed strongly in the long overdue change & accountability and I wanted to be a part of it.
I also find myself doing another first. Voting for a Republican. Yes, I will vote for Diaz for. PBC Sheriff. I believe in his plans, experience and outlook. I also appreciate his apology to the victims. It is the first I have seen...
So, I am voting for the candidate who is going to do right by the children in Palm Beach Co.
Diaz' motto-Citizens Before Politics-is literally what I am doing, putting the safety of kids before I vote Democrat. Maybe you should consider doing the same...it's for the kids...all of our kids...
What message do you have for the-now adult survivors who were children, not prostitutes as the system referred to when they were sexually abused & human trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein?
Lauro Diaz: First of all, I would like to send them the message that we hear you, we don’t doubt your truth and we thank you for coming forward.
I also want to apologize to them for the horrible way our current sheriff (Ric Bradshaw) handled the incarceration of Jeffrey Epstein after he was convicted as a sex offender. If they were abused after Epstein was convicted and imprisoned, I am terribly sorry this sheriff (Ric Bradshaw) let them down once again.
If you were Sheriff when Epstein was incarcerated at PBSO, would you permit him work release? Why not?
Lauro Diaz: Absolutely not! The rules are clear. We do not allow convicted sex offenders to be part of the work release program for obvious reasons. This sheriff (Ric Bradshaw) stated that Epstein wasn’t yet registered as a sex offender and so this sheriff isn’t responsible for allowing Epstein to be out on work release.
This sheriff (Rick Bradshaw) has stated in the past that we, the public, aren’t very bright. I pose this question to him and you all. Really, sheriff, really? Could it be that he isn’t so bright concerning his decision making? Shouldn’t we be asking how bright this (Ric Bradshaw) sheriff is based on the excuse he used when he was confronted about allowing Epstein to be allowed on work release and to carry on his horrible and illegal treatment of girls in our communities?
What does police reform mean to you?
Lauro Diaz: Policy reform to me means being agreeable to sitting down with the appropriate group of people and experts to review policies and make changes based on the most accurate information that includes views from all sides of the issue.
What reform will you bring to PBSO if elected?
Lauro Diaz: One of the first items on my agenda is to change certain areas of our policies, to review them with the expert group and implement change in each of the areas that we recognize is in dire need of change or reform-based on the most critical area to the least critical area. No area will be immune from review.
What is your stance on body cameras? Your stance on chokehold?
Lauro Diaz: My stance on body cameras has never changed. I was for body cameras for all patrol ten years ago and I am for them now. If I had been your sheriff ten years ago, I would not be asking for funding now, now that public pressure is on. I would have planned for the digital infrastructure that is needed to support these cameras and the data that comes with operating and capturing information. Being responsible, I would have taken advantage of federal funding when it was available back then (body cameras). For the remaining funding, I would not have waited until now that there is public pressure to ask for our taxpayers to fund millions of dollars for the implementation of body cameras and the infrastructure that comes with it. Asking for funding this year in the outrageous amount that the sheriff asked for and the outrageous amount that our county commissioners approved is abhorrent, in my opinion. This is commonly referred to in our police genre as “management by crisis.” It is never good and demonstrates a lack of leadership on the part of the current sheriff (Ric Bradshaw).
As a leader of a police organization such as the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, I would have the forethought and wisdom to anticipate the needs of the community as well as the funding needs of our organization to prepare for the needs. Let’s face it, folks, the current sheriff (Ric Bradshaw) dropped the ball and he is trying to make up for it on the backs and suffering of our taxpayers in a year when many of them are out of work. The money he (Ric Bradshaw) has asked the county commissioners for in the budget could have been used to help people out of work due to COVID or it could have been used for other programs that the public is crying out for.
I am not in favor of police using chokeholds unless there is an imminent fear of death to the police officer by a suspect. I am in favor of de-escalation and using all of our training to control someone who is out of control using the least means of force necessary.
What would being fiscally responsible mean to you as PBSO Sheriff?
Lauro Diaz: It would mean incorporating many of the issues previously mentioned. You must be able to forecast the changing needs of the community so we’re not caught off guard about the suffering of the minorities and other folks in this community. We are also able to forecast the needs, both financially, in program creations, evaluation and spiritually to help bring our people together in every way we can. While respecting their views and their dignity in every way that we can. Without this thoughtful consideration, we have nothing but what simply resembles a dictatorship.
What transparencies are needed in investigations?
Lauro Diaz: Transparency is a key platform issue in my campaign. Transparency in spending, in investigations, in communication, and in other areas that the public seeks our agency to be transparent in. The transparency that has long been denied them, is where I seek to help bridge the gap in the relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and the community. I can do this without jeopardizing the integrity of investigations. Speaking about investigations specifically, I feel that some investigations, like those involving the use of force by our deputies on anyone, especially minorities, must be sped up and resolved with the utmost care and consideration. These are areas where we often lose public faith, and these are the areas I will work hard to help heal and regain faith within.
Do you support social workers assisting with mental health 911 calls?
Lauro Diaz: I would love to partner with social services to help our deputies not only better understand the arena of social work and services but to also help us resolve, at a no arrest level, social issues and possibly turn over cases to social services professionals. As a possible alternative to arrest, sentencing, and the continual over-filling and overcrowding of our jails and prisons with folks that shouldn’t be incarcerated. Let’s try to help policing and rehabilitation efforts merge before people are arrested. Not after they’re imprisoned.
Do you feel the public has been misled on PBSO issues? Is there something we have not been told that we have a right to know?
Lauro Diaz: I have spoken on many issues from poor decision making in financial situations, like the newly rented lavish penthouse spaces that the sheriff (Ric Bradshaw) has procured for his top executive staff which was double the price of other office space rented for employees within the sheriff’s office.
I have spoken about the Epstein debacle at great length, about how he (Ric Bradshaw) spends taxpayers’ money on wishful items like the multi-million dollar plane, that isn’t needed to complete the mission of the sheriff’s office. In the end, the voters are the folks who are affected here. Are they tired, regardless of party affiliation, of reckless spending, and poor decision making that ultimately results in a less safe community or are they going to fall for that same old tired line about “voting the person who has been there forever just because he’s there”?
What actions and/or decisions will you take to help restore the public trust that "Citizens come before politics?" (Which is a motto of yours.)
Lauro Diaz: I will ALWAYS put citizens before politics. I will repeat my earlier statement about transparency because I believe it best describes what I can do right now, right away once I’m sworn in as your next Sheriff of Palm Beach County!
Transparency is a key platform issue in my campaign. Transparency in spending, in investigations, in communication, and in other areas that the public seeks our agency the transparency that has long been denied them, is where I seek to help bridge the gap. I can do this without jeopardizing the integrity of investigations. Speaking about investigations specifically, I feel that some investigations, like those involving the use of force by our deputies on anyone, especially minorities, must be sped up and resolved with the utmost care and consideration. These are the areas where we often lose public faith, and these are the areas I will work hard to help heal and regain faith within.
Will you have a citizens review board if elected?
Lauro Diaz: I plan on having a citizen/police review board. Neither of us can stand alone. We are stronger together. There are many different citizen review boards out there. I want to review them and include the input of our community leaders to help us make the best choice for this county. I look forward to doing that in January of 2021!
VOTE Nov 3rd – VOTE Lauro Diaz for Sheriff!