Tampa Police Chief takes questions from council on “biking while black”

Eric Ward and Bob Buckhorn
Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward (left) and Mayor Bob Buckhorn react to the Department of Justice report. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (26 April 2016).

The Tampa Police Chief answered questions Thursday morning from members of City Council about last month’s Department of Justice report that found police disproportionally stopped black bicyclists. The report concluded that despite evidence of “stark racial disparities” there was not racial discrimination because of “race-neutral motivations.”

City Council member Lisa Montelione asked Chief Eric Ward how he is addressing what the report called “Negative community perceptions.”

City Council member Harry Cohen questioned Chief Ward while putting the Department of Justice’s report in the national context of community relationships with police.

Ward says he was already correcting some of the issues brought up by the Department of Justice report.

The group Tampa for Justice is calling for a second investigation by the Department of Justice – this time by its civil rights division.


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