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Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor Calls For Suspension Of TPD Chief Mike DeLeo

Tallahassee Police Chief Mike DeLeo
Sascha Cordner

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor wants the city of Tallahassee to suspend Police Chief Mike DeLeo. Proctor accuses DeLeo of racially discriminating against TPD employees and cites a complaint accusing the police chief of disrespecting members of the city and county commission among other current and past Tallahassee employees. 

Proctor points to two votes of no confidence in DeLeo by TPD’s chapter of the Police Benevolent Association along with a February 2018 complaint to the Tallahassee Human Relations Council. The complaint alleges the DeLeo administration has overlooked minorities for promotions and assignments. The complaint does not state who wrote it and is signed “Concerned Employees of TPD.”

Proctor is basing his call to suspend DeLeo largely off the complaint, which also says the chief is, "openly expresses his disgust with people of color in leadership and managerial positions, including but not limited to retired City Manager, Anita Favors-Thompson, Deputy City Manager Cynthia Barber, Commissioners Curtis Richardson and Bill Proctor, former Mayor Andrew Gillum, Sheriff Walt McNeil and many community leaders. Internally, not only is this disdain evident with sworn members, it is also prevalent with non-sworn members.”

When reached for a comment City Commissioner Curtis Richardson said he's not interested in speaking on the matter.

DeLeo has been pushing to build a new headquarters for the police department. But his efforts to locate the center on the Southside, which was supported by Richardson, put him at odds with Proctor.

"I ask you to suspend Chief Deleo until this whole matter has been reviewed without the chief intimidating, threating or influencing the cooperation of police employees from top to bottom," Proctor wrote in a letter to the Tallahassee City Commission. 

WFSU has requested comment from both the city of Tallahassee and the Tallahassee Police Department. TPD Spokesman Damon Miller said DeLeo was out of the office Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the city says a statement could come Wednesday. 

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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