Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee in Florida's gubernatorial race, said Wednesday that police are going "too far" if they have to pull out a gun, baton, or taser when approaching a potential suspect.
Gillum made the comment on the liberal podcast "Pod Save America," where he pushed back against his Republican critics who believe he is an anti-police candidate.
"All this stuff that they say, I've got to let them know, anti-police? No. I'm for police accountability, but law enforcement society cannot work and, quite frankly, law enforcement cannot do its job if it does not have a trusting relationship with the community," Gillum said.
"At the time that a law enforcement official has to go to a weapon, to a gun, to a baton, to a taser, then they have already have to go too far by their very presence," he continued. "By the very trust that they inspire in community and in society, they are supposed to be able to bring most situations to heel."
Gillum went on to say that he is in favor of law enforcement "repairing the breach" and making sure that there is a good community relationship.
The Florida gubernatorial candidate came under fire this week after it was revealed that he received a ticket to see "Hamilton" on Broadway from an undercover FBI agent posing as a developer. Gillum previously claimed that he received the gift from his brother. He responded to reports on the "Hamilton" ticket by accusing his Republican opponent, former Rep. Ron DeSantis, and other Republicans of racism.
"The Republicans obviously want to distract, want to suggest—all along on the trail they've wanted the people of this state to believe somehow I haven't deserved what I've gotten, I'm unethical, participated in illegal and illicit activity. I mean, you name it," he said this week.
"The goal is obviously to use my candidacy as a way to reinforce, frankly, stereotypes about black men," said Gillum, who is African American.