TCAC's Police Crimes Committee demands community control of the police NOW. We speak on the issues of police violence, racial profiling, and police brutality in Tallahassee. There is no denying that a problem exists.
We saw it when Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) Officer Terry Mahan tasered 61 year old Viola Young in the back. We saw it again in 2014 and 2016 when Tallahassee Police Department was exposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Human Rights and Privacy, and USA Today for racial profiling through phone trackers called “Stingray” operations used mostly on Black Southside community members. And, we saw it again in the brutal murder of Mychael Johnson and Tony McDade by TPD Officers in the early months of 2020.
We advocate for long-term transformational change in Tallahassee. Tallahassee has a chance to emerge as a leader promoting police accountability to defend black lives, end racial profiling, and establish democratically elected community control and oversight of the police.
In order to determine what is actually happening in police-civilian encounters, to be confident that police wrongdoing is not being hidden, to evaluate police department management, to accumulate the facts needed for effective reform, and to maintain democratic control over law enforcement, we need review of police behavior by an agency that is independent of TPD, and of TPD’s employer, the city manager and the city commission. We believe that a democratically elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) can do all this and differs from “TPD Citizens Review Board” currently under creation.
We are pleased that Tallahassee City Commission has listened to the outpouring of concern by community members and has made clear its commitment to addressing this issue. Now, we continue to demand that they complete what they have started in a way that will make sustainable change in our community and allow our city to emerge as a leader in the nation during these troubled times.