Florida House advances controversial bill to dissolve police citizen review boards

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House Speaker Paul Renner // The Florida Channel

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House Speaker Paul Renner has promised to end citizen police review boards. The bill to do that is now moving forward in the State House.

Renner made the pledge during opening remarks on Tuesday.

“This session we will extend penalties for anyone who commits violence against law enforcement and bring an end to citizen review boards that have been weaponized by defund the police activists”

The bill would eliminate the 21 citizen police review boards around Florida. Almost half of those boards were created after the 2020 death of George Floyd, according to the Daytona Beach News Journal.

St. Petersburg Representative Michele Rayner spoke against the bill during the House Criminal Justice subcommittee meeting Wednesday morning.

“The FDLE has said that civilian review boards are beneficial, and they help increase transparency and trust in the community, and I’ve seen it with my own eyes in St. Petersburg. I’ve watched it happen in St. Petersburg, where we’ve had these and the relationship between law enforcement and the community has literally transformed.”

Loretta Phillipson is a Pasco County resident and was formerly incarcerated. She spoke during public comment.

“This will continue to allow the state of Florida public agencies to operate without any input from the public that they are there to protect.”

The bill moved forward with a 14-6 vote.

 

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