Ron DeSantis kicks off pro-police tour to New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago this week

Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker reportedly slurred the Florida Republican governor as a bigot. "He's demonstrated that he's homophobic, that he has tendencies to promote racism," Pritzker told WGN 9.

Published: February 20, 2023 9:40am

Updated: February 20, 2023 1:09pm

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis began a pro-police tour in New York City on Monday to show support for beleaguered law enforcement officers in Democrat-run cities. 

The potential 2024 presidential candidate is set to speak with police officers and union officials at a diner in the red-leaning borough of Staten Island, according to Fox News. He will then travel to the Philadelphia suburb of Fort Washington and Elmhurst, Ill., outside Chicago.

Once there, DeSantis will meet with sheriffs, chiefs of police and various officials, according to information shared by his political staff with Fox News Digital.

The president of New York City's Detectives' Endowment Association, Paul DiGiacomo, who was slated to attend the event, told Fox about how New York's laws ending cash bail for certain criminal charges is endangering the nation's men and women in blue. 

"It's a law enforcement rally to send a message back to some of our elected officials," said DiGiacomo, "that the laws that they have enacted in the state of New York are not working — specifically the bail reform laws — and it's putting my members, detectives and cops in danger, as well as the public. It's gone too far to the left over the last couple of years."

DeSantis has proposed measures to bolster bail laws and toughen penalties for sex offenders, positioning himself as a pro-law enforcement candidate looking to take on rising crime rates across the country. 

DeSantis previously paid $5,000 signing bonuses to officers willing to relocate to Florida from blue regions, to help strengthen the security of the Sunshine state.

Not everyone was supportive of the DeSantis visit, however, as Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker accused the Florida governor of bigotry.

"Well, he doesn't represent the values of the people in Illinois," Pritzker told WGN 9. "In fact, he is the antithesis of that. He's demonstrated that he's homophobic, that he has tendencies to promote racism."

Pritzker did not appear to cite any evidence in support of his reported slurs against DeSantis. 

You can follow Nick on Twitter @NGivasDC

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