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A dismissed member of the Tallahassee Citizens Police Review Board is suing the city

Two police cars at night with blue and red emergency lights against a fog background
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The Tallahassee Citizens Police Review Board was established in 2020 to build trust and transparency between the Tallahassee Police Department and the community.

A former member of the Tallahassee Citizens Police Review Board is suing the city for violating her First Amendment rights. Taylor Biro lost her volunteer job due to the sticker on her cup, which said “Abolish the police.”

The local chapter of the Florida Police Benevolent Association called for Biro’s dismissal last month, and the city commission then voted 3-2 to dismiss her.

The complaint filed Tuesday by Biro’s attorney, Marie Mattox, claims that as a result of the city’s actions, Biro “was targeted by a slew of Blue Lives Matter advocates and harassed in the local news."

“The city is going to be on the hook for attorneys’ fees, for any damages," said Barbara Petersen, executive director of the Florida Center for Government Accountability. "And they might say, ‘Well, it was a volunteer position, it’s not like she was being paid,’ but her reputation is harmed as a result of the city’s action. And that…that’s damages.”

City Attorney Cassandra Jackson responded to the complaint via text: "My office will vigorously defend the litigation filed by Ms. Taylor Biro. The City Commission has acted fully within the legal bounds and standards of the First Amendment."

Mayor John Dailey, Mayor Pro Tem Dianne Williams-Cox and Commissioner Curtis Richardson voted to remove Biro. Dailey and Williams-Cox, who were re-elected last month, received endorsements and contributions from the Police Benevolent Association.

Follow @MargieMenzel

Margie Menzel covers local and state government for WFSU News. She has also worked at the News Service of Florida and Gannett News Service. She earned her B.A. in history at Vanderbilt University and her M.S. in journalism at Florida A&M University.