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For Immediate Release 6/24/20  

James McLynas for Sheriff                                                    

Florida Sheriff Tears Black Woman's Hair Out; Receives Appointment by


"I grabbed (her) by the head to get her out of the car. I grabbed her hair   which came out of her head."  ~
Pinellas County Florida Sheriff Robert Gualtieri

Pinellas County, FL -  Attorney General William P Barr announced in January the Presidential

Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, after President Trump's Executive
Order No. 13896, authorizing and designating the Attorney General to create such a Commission
exploring modern issues affecting law enforcement. Barr appointed Pinellas County (Fl) Sheriff Bob
Gualtieri and 17 others to the commission. 

Race and police relations remains an issue throughout the country in the wake of several killings of
unarmed Black men by police in recent weeks. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is no stranger to strained
race relations, criticism by activists and allegations of racism and corruption at the highest levels. 

Sheriff Snatches Woman Bald

Gualtieri approached a Black woman sitting in her vehicle in a parking lot after witnessing an alleged
traffic infraction. As Gualtieri and another deputy attempted to remove the woman from the vehicle,
Gualtieri grabbed the woman first by her head then by two fists full of hair literally ripping it out of the
Black woman's head.

Sheriff's Office Follows Protocol- Except When it Doesn't

Three Black teenage girls drowned after being pursued by Pinellas County Sheriff Deputies ending with
the vehicle submerged in a pond in St. Petersburg. The Sheriff has a "no chase" policy for property
crimes. The day of the tragedy Gualtieri told reporters his deputies followed policy, "everything by the
book" and did not initially pursue the vehicle. But Pinellas patrol cars did give chase after the vehicle into
a cemetery and deputies did not activate  emergency lights. In addition, their dash-cam videos show
speeding towards the scene up to 93 miles an hour. Nevertheless, Gualtieri declared, "Our sheriff's office
followed the car as they entered the cemetery and was going about 30 to 35 miles an hour."

Videos show multiple Pinellas deputies mulling around the scene claiming they could hear the girls
screaming for their lives as the car sank into the murky swamp-like water. Community activists accuse
deputies of making no effort to save the girls because they were Black and in an alleged stolen vehicle,
an allegation denied by Gualtieri. 

Soon after, Gualtieri provided a prolonged press conference blaming car thefts on "Black youths" from
"South St. Pete." 

The deputy behind the girls chasing them to their deaths was Pinellas County Sheriff's
Deputy Howard Skaggs, who had chased another Black teen to his death in a pond in
2002.   .  
Pinellas Sheriff Refuses to Arrest White Man for Shooting and Killing Black Man Over Parking

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri made national headlines when he refused to arrest a White
man who shot and killed a Black man in front of his family in an argument the White shooter initiated over
a parking spot. Gualtieri claimed that man, Michael Drejke, had the right to kill Marquis McGlockton based
on Florida's "Stand Your Ground" laws. Drejke was eventually sentenced to 20 years in jail for the
shooting despite Gualtieri's refusal to arrest him, claiming he broke no law. 

Sheriff Gualtieri's Deputy: They Deserve to Die

Last year a Black man filed suit against Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputy Jay Dugmore, 49, alleging
Dugmore hurled racial slurs and assaulted him with a body slam. Dugmore, who is White, made a post on
Facebook stating "Most people that are killed by police DESERVE IT."    Sheriff Gualtieri initially refused to
make it a formal complaint until the comment by Dugmore went public. Gualtieri took no action against
Dugmore for the racial slur civil suit but provided him legal representation. 

Non-LEO Candidate Runs for Pinellas County Sheriff

As a non-law-enforcement candidate for Pinellas County Sheriff, James McLynas vows to end more

than 100 years of racist policing by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. With the Sheriff's election
scheduled for Nov. 3, 2020, Republican Sheriff Robert Gualtieri refuses to take part in any debate or
forum where Democratic for Sheriff candidate James McLynas is a participant.  Gualtiieri says his refusal
to debate McLynas is the result of a series of memes Mclynas created depicting Gualtieri in "Hitler
Garb (published by the Tampa Bay Times), "KKK garb" and another depicting the incident of Gualtieri
ripping the hair out of a Black woman's head detailed in Gualtieri's police report of that incident. 

Mclynas, the Democratic candidate for Pinellas Sheriff, says, "Like all racists, Sheriff Gualtieri is a coward
and much the same as an old Confederate flag that should have been torn down a long time ago. Sheriff
Gualtieri is a racist, dirty cop who is too much of a coward to debate me because he doesn't want the
people of Pinellas County to hear what I offer, or about his massive corruption, racism and malfeasance I
have exposed."

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