Death threats and rule changes cause some to fear for the First Amendment in New Port Richey

Racial strife has brought national attention to the Tampa Bay suburb of New Port Richey and now activists fear their voices are being silenced. Proposed rule changes to city meetings and a rash of death threats have some feeling the First Amendment is under fire in Pasco County. LISTEN: Before the cameras and recording equipment… Read more »

Independent lawyer, limited subpoena power for citizen-led police review board could come as ballot initiative in Tampa

The decision to have an independent lawyer and limited subpoena power for Tampa’s citizen-led police review board could come down to a ballot initiative for city residents. Tampa’s City Council workshopped a massive overhaul to its much-criticized citizen review board Wednesday. It will vote to adopt the ordinance in May. LISTEN: After nearly five and… Read more »

Black Lives Matter Activist attacked by ‘community patriot’ at New Port Richey council meeting

A New Port Richey City Council meeting turned violent Tuesday when a Black Lives Matter activist was attacked outside of City Hall. One arrest was made after tensions between activists and a group called “community patriots” went from the council chambers to the parking lot. LISTEN: The confrontation at Tuesday’s meeting boiled over from an… Read more »

Florida Legislative Black Caucus unveils ‘fair and just’ police reforms, cites BLM movement as signal for change

Members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus cite the Black Lives Matter movement as inspiration for a set of bills aimed at what it calls ‘fair and just policing.’ The bills come as some in the state legislature look to further crackdown on public protests. LISTEN: More than a dozen bills in the Florida House… Read more »

Florida lawmakers call for reform after DOJ report finds ‘systemic’ sexual abuse in women’s prison

Florida lawmakers are calling for sweeping reforms after a Department of Justice investigation alleged a culture of “systemic” sexual abuse and cover-ups at a women’s prison in Ocala. State legislators last week held a Zoom call with former inmates of Lowell Correctional Institution to talk about how to move forward. LISTEN: Laurette Philipsen expected to… Read more »

Rebekah Jones on coronavirus

Radioactivity Thursday: Former Florida COVID-19 data manager says she will not be deterred – despite death threats

Here is a link to many coronavirus resources December 17, 2020 Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. There are now more calls for an investigation into the search of a former Florida COVID data scientist’s home.  A group of Florida Congress members, all Democrats, sent a letter to the state’s chief inspector general…. Read more »

St. Pete committee selects organization for police social worker program

A committee of St. Pete first responders and city leaders met Thursday to select the organization that will handle its promised police social worker program. Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services will handle non-violent emergency calls for police by early 2021. Listen: In July Mayor Rick Kriseman and Police Chief Anthony Halloway first promised… Read more »

Tampa police review policy pushed to 2021 following citizen pushback

The Tampa City Council Thursday voted unanimously to push considering changes to its police Citizen Review Board until early 2021. Citizens came out in droves in person and virtually to call for citizen-led oversight of police amid a call for resistance from police unions. LISTEN: The call came from Tampa Mayor Jane Castor’s office in… Read more »

Trump supporters gather in Downtown St. Pete to counter Black Lives Matter activists in tense, but peaceful night

One week after a counter-protester pulled a gun during a Black Lives Matter march in downtown St. Petersburg, activists and counter-protest groups again clashed in St. Pete Saturday. With an increased police presence, no violence broke out, but tensions ran high. Listen: When the flames wouldn’t catch, Gary Snow grabbed the Nazi flag from the… Read more »

Hillsborough State Attorney won’t file charges against activist who jumped on hood of car that drove through June protest

The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office said it will not file charges against an activist who jumped on the hood of a car as it drove through a June protest in Tampa. His attorney said he shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place. Listen: Jason Stuart Flores might not be facing prison time any… Read more »

New Port Richey officer who gave intel to armed counter-protester is out of a job and activists want department investigated

A New Port Richey police officer who provided department information about Black Lives Matter protests to a “Back the Blue” activist is no longer employed by the city’s police department. Listen: According to the New Port Richey Police Department, Corey Oliver is a former officer with the department. City Manager Debbie Manns told WMNF his… Read more »

St. Pete protesters supporting Breonna Taylor face threats from police supporters and more vehicles after viral video

Before they marched, they prayed. Protesters marched with renewed vigor this week after a grand jury in Kentucky chose to not bring charges against officers who killed Breonna Taylor. Listen: After four straight months of near-daily, peaceful marches, tensions were among the highest they’d been Thursday night. Wednesday, a Tampa Bay Times reporter tweeted a… Read more »

City of Tampa 2019 election. Candidate for Mayor

Activists call for $13 million Tampa police increase to instead be put into social programs

Tampa and Hillsborough County are both set to adopt new budgets this week. Both are also set to increase law enforcement spending as activists in the area call for some of that money to be diverted to social programs. Listen: City and county governments are preparing to finalize their first budgets since widespread calls have… Read more »

Hillsborough Sheriff announces expansion of Juvenile Arrest Avoidance Program

Leaders in Hillsborough County say that a program to keep kids out of jail and give them citations instead is working. So they’re making changes to expand and improve the Juvenile Arrest Avoidance Program. Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister announced the changes Thursday morning. “With the exception of five offenses, which I will expand on in… Read more »

A Pizza Hut driver was filmed driving through Black Lives Matter protesters in St. Pete and the company is keeping quiet

Last Thursday, Black Lives Matter activists with the St. Pete Peace Protest captured video as a Pizza Hut delivery driver drove through demonstrators standing in a crosswalk. Activists are calling for the driver and a local manager to be fired, but the company isn’t saying much. Listen: As they’ve done almost every night for nearly… Read more »

Radioactivity Tuesday: Investigative report links futuristic policing to citizen harassment in Pasco County

September 8, 2020 Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. The Tampa Bay Times recently published an investigative report on a new, high-tech form of policing—one which tries to stop crime before it happens. The system uses futuristic, cutting edge technology to identify people who are about to commit crimes in Pasco County. What… Read more »

tampa police injure and arrest Jae Passmore

Black Lives Matter protests: Hillsborough State Attorney drops some charges, pursues others

The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office released information Friday afternoon about charges related to Black Lives Matter protests that it is either pursuing or dropping. For example, Andrew Warren’s office said it will not pursue criminal charges against protester Jae Passmore. Police charged her with battery saying she hit a counter-protester in the head. But the… Read more »

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

Pinellas County Sheriff has a new official policy on how deputies execute search warrants

On Tuesday the Pinellas Sheriff said his office is making official a new policy on how deputies execute search warrants. Ever since police in Louisville, Kentucky killed Breonna Taylor while conducting what’s called a “no-knock” warrant, many people have called for a ban. But Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says even though Florida doesn’t have “no-knock” warrants,… Read more »