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Tampa City Council Opposes Mayor's Police Review Board

Oct 8, 2015

Tampa City Council members continue to oppose Mayor Bob Buckhorn over the creation of a Civilian Police Review Board.

Council members said the current proposal gives the mayor too much power.

Buckhorn called for an executive order, establishing a board of citizens that would independently investigate police conduct and give him the ability to appoint nine people to the 11-member board.

City council members asked to appoint seven people to the board, one citizen member for each city council member, while allowing Buckhorn to still appoint four members.

The mayor countered with four, allowing himself to appoint five members and two alternates.

Frank Reddick, the Tampa City Council Chair, spoke on behalf of the city council. He said the mayor needs to better compromise so they can move on to bigger issues.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at a press conference Wednesday.
Credit Daylina Miller/WUSF News

"The community have lost a lot of respect,” Reddick said. “We need to build back up that trust with the bicycle ticketing...they go to internal affairs and complain about it, a lot of people come disappointed because they feel disrespected." 

Buckhorn said he'd appoint members that fairly represented Tampa's diversity and issues.

"We want a board that's actually going to work, that's going to deal with Tampa situations, not Ferguson situations, not Baltimore situations, but a board that is reflective of the challenges that we face here,” Buckhorn said.

Buckhorn proposed his review board after the Department of Justice began investigating the Tampa Police Department. Thousands of tickets were issued to mostly black bicyclists for minor infractions.

The mayor and city council will continue to hash out the details - and possibly a compromise - at Thursday’s city council meeting.