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Tallahassee Activists Call For An Elected Police Accountability Council

Six people are pictured. Four hold signs that read, "CPAC NOW."
Robbie Gaffney
Local activists took part in a Zoom press conference to advocate for the creation of a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). Participants held up pieces of paper showing support for the idea. Delilah Pierre (pictured bottom left) hosted the conference. Saskiya Fagan (pictured bottom right) was a speaker for the event.

Tallahassee activists are calling for the city to create a council that would have managerial power over the city police department. Organizers are also urging officials to redirect some of TPD's money to social services and other programs.

Tallahassee activists are urging the city to create a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). It's a counterproposal to the city's plans for a Police Citizen Review Board. Unlike the board, a CPAC would have the power to hire and fire the police chief, have a say over TPD policy, and negotiate TPD union contracts and coordinate TPD's budget.

"They're not doing the things that we need in our community, and it's necessary for us to voice that and name that and be active participants in the transformation necessary," local activist Saskiya Fagan says.

The board voted Wednesday to create a “citizens review board,” in partnership with the county commission and law enforcement agencies.

The city has not put forth an ordinance that would create it's proposed Police Citizen Review Board. The city will discuss these plans during its upcoming June 17th commission meeting. If it's given the green light, board members could be tasked with reviewing officer-involved shootings and providing advice to TPD. However, Fagan says that's not enough.

"We need [to] invest [in] Tony McDade's community. We need [to] be investing in the social services that Toyin needed when she was displaced from her home during a global pandemic," Fagan says.

McDade was a black trans masculine resident killed during an officer-involved shooting. Toyin Salau attended several local protests and was recently found dead along with 75-year-old Victoria Sims. TPD is also planning to make its own Citizen Review Board separate from the city's proposal.

Friends of Toyin Salau the 19-year-old woman found dead along with 75-year-old Victoria Sims held a candlelight vigil last night in her memory. The ceremony was held on Monday Road where their bodies were found.

Corrected: June 17, 2020 at 9:25 AM EDT
Virginia Sims was changed to Victoria Sims to be accurate.
Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.