In response to David Ayala endorsing Monique Worrell in the election for State Attorney to succeed Aramis Ayala, candidate Ryan Williams has lashed out in an open letter of his own (posted in full below). However, there is a glaring error in Williams’ response and it needs to be called out. Ryan Williams did aggressively prosecute Noel Carter, who was himself a victim of Orlando Police brutality and excessive force. Williams would not let it go, and clearly still refuses to admit he was wrong.
In response to David Ayala, Williams wrote: “Mr. Ayala attacks me for prosecuting Noel Carter whom he deems a ‘victim of police violence.’ Wrong.”
Well just this week, the City of Orlando settled and agreed to pay $95,000 to Carter in the excessive force case, meaning police violence and brutality took place. Ryan Williams is wrong, period.
There are few things more dangerous than a prosecutor with an agenda willing to ignore facts and the law in pursuit of the end they prefer. A willingness to be guided by facts supported by evidence has, for nearly 200 years, set our nation apart from countries where the “justice” system is used to attack the opponents of those in power. I thought of the significance of facts yesterday when I read David Ayala’s endorsement of Monique Worrell and the counter-factual agenda that drove it. While I try hard not to address the mindless thoughts of every person who presses “post” on their social media account, we all know by now that Mark Twain was right when he said “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”
Mr. Ayala attacks me for prosecuting Noel Carter whom he deems a “victim of police violence.” Wrong. In fact, a jury of Mr. Carter’s peers rejected his assertion he was a victim of anything and convicted him for battering a police officer. If David Ayala bothered to attend the trial or read the transcript, a police report, anything, he would know that the only reason police approached Mr. Carter that night was because he put his hands on a woman and wouldn’t leave her alone when police asked him to walk away. Maybe that fact is inconvenient or maybe Mr. Ayala has no problem with violence against women, I guess he can tell us when he decides to confront facts proven in a court of law. Either way, I doubt Mr. Ayala is aware that when Mr. Carter sought early termination from probation his wife’s office objected, rightfully in my view. I encourage anyone interested to read the transcript of the trial and make up their own mind.
On the issue of police accountability, I don’t remember David Ayala, his wife, or Monique Worrell coming to my defense, or that of Ms. Barra for that matter, when we were prosecuting law enforcement officers in the courts of this circuit. I remember seeing half of the police union sitting behind the officer accused and a lot of empty seats behind me. Mr. Ayala is awfully quick to castigate prosecutors who make mistakes, but neither he nor his wife have offered much support for those who take on the hard task of standing up to law enforcement for what is right. I suspect they were busy talking about reform somewhere in New York City, Miami, or Brussels, or perhaps acting as guest speakers for the class Ms. Worrell was teaching, while we were working to bring justice for black victims of excessive use of force.
Mr. Ayala also lists a group of policies he claims I would “uproot or drastically change.” He fails to mention he “moderated” a debate just a few weeks ago where I publicly pledged to keep nearly all of the policies he lists. I suppose he was too busy “muting” any response of mine he didn’t care for to hear these public pledges or that I hoped voters hold me accountable going forward. The drive towards his agenda apparently also allowed him to ignore that Ms. Ayala still hasn’t finalized her “Brady Policy” three-and-a-half years into her tenure.
Lastly, I turn to David Ayala’s obsession with my father, who is in prison. This is the second time he has callously attacked my family to score political points. I have never shied away from my past. Rather, I have been open and honest about it. It has helped me to have sympathy for other families, like mine, who have been devastated by the criminal acts of a loved one. I love my father and I have forgiven him for what he did to me, or at least what I have experienced because of his crimes. I have heard Ms. Worrell talk about a member of her family’s struggles with the criminal justice system, but for reasons known only to Mr. Ayala he lauds Ms. Worrell’s experience and insight and attacks mine.
I have sharply, and publicly, disagreed with State Attorney Ayala on her interpretation of a State Attorney’s role in our criminal justice system. While I support many of her more progressive policies—and in fact publicly supported and advocated for them long before she did—I did not and will not support her decision to ignore the laws of the State of Florida. In spite of this disagreement, never once has it led me to believe Ms. Ayala was not a loving daughter, mother, and wife, or that she did not love her family. Even after this attack, I will not dare to speculate how David Ayala feels about what are certainly complicated family relationships, or tout unsupported allegations against him.
I close by reminding voters how we got here. Ms. Ayala talked about reform and working as an “outsider” to change the criminal justice system. She then took a million dollars from forces outside our community and when they called in their chips, she delivered for them after misleading our community and, at best, hiding her true beliefs and intentions. No one should be surprised now, then, as David Ayala supports another “outsider” with zero experience, who right now admittedly waits for millions more of outside dollars to infect our community, so that she can become the latest celebrity State Attorney who does nothing to protect our community or the rights of its citizens.