A little less than five-hours after a Tallahassee Reports story about a tweet sent by Mayor Gillum’s office confirming a link between Tallahassee and the Parkland shooter that turned out to be false, the Mayor’s Office has posted the following update on twitter:
UPDATE: while we were troubled at the possibility of the shooter receiving paramilitary training in TLH, our local law-enforcement agencies found no evidence to confirm that. We will continue to monitor these hate groups, as the safety of our community remains our top priority.
On February 15, 2018, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum used the Mayor’s Office twitter account to broadcast the following statement:
“We are sickened to learn that the shooter received paramilitary training in #Tallahassee. This hate group should immediately be investigated for domestic terrorism & if confirmed, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The problem is the statement turned out to be false shortly after the tweet was published.
The first headlines from the national media alleging a connection between the Parkland school shooter and the Republic of Florida, a local paramilitary organization located in Tallahassee, occurred around 1:00 pm .
The Tallahassee Democrat posted a story around 1:44 pm that clearly stated that the national reports were unconfirmed.
Tallahassee Democrat Editor, William Hatfield, after hearing the national reports about the shooter’s connection to Tallahassee wrote, “we were immediately skeptical.”
However, it appears Mayor Gillum was not.
At 1:57, on Feb 15, 2018, an hour after the first unconfirmed media report hit the newswires, the Mayors Office sent out the less than flattering tweet about Tallahassee.
A couple of hours after the 1:45 report, the Tallahassee Democrat reported that there “was no connection between our solitary supremacist and the shooter who massacred 17 people in South Florida.”
The Mayors Office twitter account has yet to acknowledge the truth about Tallahassee and the Parkland shooter. In fact, the tweet remains on the Office of the Mayor twitter feed.
This is not the first time Mayor Gillum has attempted to paint Tallahassee in a negative light over a controversial issue.
Back in October, speaking at the University of Tampa, Gillum said, “There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by in my city where I’m not driving behind a truck on my way to work that has a big old Confederate flag.”
The statement drew immediate criticism from the Tallahassee community and from Ron Sachs, the influential CEO of Sachs Media Group.
Sachs said that Gillum “essentially trashed the very community that propelled his political career by electing him repeatedly to the city commission and most recently as mayor.”