For Immediate Release:
February 28, 2011

Media Contact:
Olga Vega

Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz calls for minimum imprisonment terms to protect law enforcement from assault by felons

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz is presenting two resolutions before his colleagues for the March 1st County Commission meeting, both spurred by the deaths of Officers Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth last month.

The first resolution asks the Florida Legislature to require minimum term of five years imprisonment for convicted felons in possession of a firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device like tear gas guns or chemical devices. While Florida law provides that a felon in possession of a firearm be charged with a second degree felony resulting in imprisonment not to exceed 15 years, there is no mandatory minimum term that a convicted felon must serve. Amending state law to require a minimum sentence will ensure that convicted felons possessing firearms would stay in prison for a minimum of 5 years, no discretion will be allowed.

In addition, Commission Diaz is urging that State lawmakers impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years imprisonment when a law enforcement official is the victim of aggravated assault or aggravated battery with a firearm.

"Not only have we dealt with the loss of Officers Castillo and Haworth here, but soon after their deaths, three more law enforcement officials were killed in St. Petersburg this year alone," said Commissioner Diaz. "These men and women risk their lives for our protection on a daily basis. Legislators need to do everything in their power to protect police officers and ensure that the people who would do them harm are kept off the streets."

For more information, please contact Commissioner Diaz's office at 305-599-1200. 


# # #


Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW 1st Street, Suite 320 Miami, Florida 33128
(305) 375-4343