Now in Legal Rebels:
Posted May 22, 2014 01:28 pm CDT
Updated: A Florida prosecutor whose Facebook page offered advice for “crack hoes” appears unapologetic amidst the controversy.
Assistant State Attorney Kenneth Lewis is under fire for several Facebook comments, including this Mother’s Day post: “Happy Mother’s Day to all the crack hoes out there. It’s never too late to tie your tubes, clean up your life and make difference to someone out there that deserves a better mother.”
Lewis told a WFTV reporter he was too busy trying cases to agree to an interview, but he did confirm he wrote the post. “It’s an inspirational message to do the right thing,” Lewis said.
WKMG highlights other posts on Lewis’ Facebook page. In one, a photo of Justice Sonia Sotomayor is posted. Underneath, the Facebook page reads: “Reason enough why no country should ever engage in the practice of Affirmative Action again. This could be the result. Where would she be if she didn’t hit the quota lottery? Here’s a hint: ‘Would you like to supersize that sir?’ ”
Another post underneath a news article about an arrest for home invasion says, “They should have shot him in the head, anyone that invades another home in a violent manner should be executed on the spot.” Yet another post complains that Florida is subject to a “constant flooding of the lowest common denominator from third world nations.”
Orange-Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton released this statement to the broadcast stations: “I have been made aware of certain statements attributed to Assistant State Attorney Kenneth Lewis on social media. I do not agree with the political sentiments expressed by him and I find some of the words he chose to be both offensive and dehumanizing. Political speech is protected by the first amendment of the United States Constitution and I do not police the private thoughts, views or expressions of those in my employ.”
The ABA Journal sent Lewis an email request asking if he would like to comment on the controversy over his Facebook page. His email reply: “What specific controversy are you referring to?” The ABA Journal provided more specifics, and Lewis didn’t immediately reply.
At a news conference on Thursday, Lewis apologized for the “crack hoes” comment, report the Associated Press and WFTV. “I used a poor choice of words in using the term ‘crack hoe’ instead of ‘drug addict,’ ” Lewis said. “To those I unintentionally offended, I offer you my deepest apologies. I regret it was misinterpreted by some.”
He also apologized for the Sotomayor comment.
“I use hyperbole, sensationalism to get reaction from people to start discussing,” Lewis said. He said he is able to be a fair and impartial prosecutor.
“I have always been 100 percent fair, and I challenge any of you to talk to any attorneys that I’ve tried cases against, to talk to any of the judges I’ve appeared before, and to talk to any of the victims and the victims’ families that I’ve worked for in upholding justice,” Lewis said. “My record speaks for itself.”
Updated May 23 to include press conference coverage.