By Caitlin Yilek
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) said Friday that if the Department of Justice had been investigating the Orlando nightclub shooter instead of her, the 49 people killed in the massacre there last month would still be alive.
Brown was charged with 24 counts of fraud late last week, after being accused of using a college scholarship fund as “a personal slush fund.”
“These are the same agents that was not able to do a thorough investigation of [shooter Omar Mateen], and we ended up with 50 people dead,” Brown said. Mateen was shot and killed by police at the scene of the Orlando nightclub attack, bringing the total death toll to 50.
Brown’s lawyer echoed those sentiments.
“Perhaps had it chosen to devote its resources more thoughtfully, 50 innocent people would be alive today,” Elizabeth White said, according to First Coast News.
Prosecutors allege that the Florida lawmaker and her chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, used her office to solicit hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to the fake charity.
On Sunday, Brown seemed to draw parallels from her situation to the shootings of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and the police officers in Dallas.
“Two black men were needlessly gunned down by police; five Dallas police officers were slain by a demented man, and on Friday I had to appear in federal court,” she wrote on her blog, as reported by BuzzFeed News. “I’m not the first black elected official to be persecuted and, sad to say, I won’t be the last.”