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Tallahassee Residents Talk Police Reform Proposals

A woman grips the handle of a microphone with a sanitization wipe.
Robbie Gaffney
Margaret Moore speaks during a community conversation and listening session on police reform.

A town hall on police reform led to repeat calls to fire Tallahassee's Chief of Police Lawrence Revell and City Manager Reese Goad. Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor and City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow hosted the talks, which drew about 30 people. Among them, social worker Margaret Moore:

"They look at people like they're animals like they're criminals, they look for that, they see it, and they go after it."

Some proposals brought by residents include consolidating the police and redirecting police dollars into social services. The city commission has proposed a police review board, but activists want the group to be elected and have the power to subpoena officers and make hiring and firing decisions. Stanley Sims suggests ousting some city commissioners:

"So it's more than one knee on our neck. It's some black knees on our neck too."

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.

Three recent officer-involved shootings have rocked the city along with the deaths of two women killed by a man who had been arrested just weeks prior. Resident Asia Alexander says she feels commissioners have been missing from recent protests.

"So it's like you might show up to our church or something like that and shout with us and talk with us... But that's only to get our vote, and half of us don't even vote anyway. So it's like why are you even coming in the first place if you don't really care?"

Another community conversation is scheduled for June 25th at 6 p.m. inside the Old West Enrichment Center.

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.