Back the blue: Legislature declaws civilian review boards for police

Police Miami Beach
The measure shields law enforcement from external complaints.

The House has agreed to Senate language on a bill that will bring an end to civilian review boards probing allegations of misconduct in Florida once Gov. Ron DeSantis signs off.

On party lines, the House voted up the Senate amended version of GOP Rep. Wyman Duggan’s measure (HB 601) which stipulates that while a Sheriff has a right to establish and appoint their own advisory board to counsel on policies and procedure, those boards have limited authority.

The language further stipulates that municipalities can’t facilitate “civilian oversight of law enforcement agencies’ investigations of complaints of misconduct by law enforcement or correctional officers.”

Finally, the amendment raises base salaries for sheriffs by $5,000 per year.

The Jacksonville Republican made the move to concur with these changes that allow for some types of boards, though with a very limited ombudsman role.

The Senate language diverged somewhat from the original bill language, which was a simple prohibition against local moves “to pass or enforce any ordinance, resolution, or rule relating to the receipt, processing, or investigation of complaints of misconduct by law enforcement officers and correctional officers, except as otherwise expressly provided in this part, or to pass or enforce any ordinance, resolution, or rule relating to civilian oversight of a law enforcement agency in relation to the investigation of complaints of misconduct by law enforcement officers and correctional officers.”

Ahead of the vote, Democratic Rep. Angie Nixon asked about the Sheriffs’ board provision, and Duggan said he had limited information about the Senate’s motivation.

Democratic Rep. Kevin Chambliss sought and got confirmation that any board could not litigate misconduct charges against officers.

Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani noted that civilian review boards are historically “independent,” questioning the Sheriffs’ board proposal and how a panel chosen by the chief law enforcement officer might “pick people that are going to be friendly toward you to be on that board.”

In his close, Duggan likened disciplinary citizen boards to the act of taking an officer in question and “putting him in stocks on the public square.”

During the committee process, the American Civil Liberties Union made the case against the legislation.

“At a time where society’s perception of law enforcement varies widely, not surprising due to the lived experiences of marginalized communities, improving the public sentiment of law enforcement through local initiatives should be a top priority of this legislature. Unfortunately, the only solution the legislature sees is to once again remove local power, while they continue to waste our tax dollars on bad policies that restrict our freedoms and undermine our democracy,” the group said in February.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


14 comments

  • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

    March 7, 2024 at 5:52 pm

    Good evening Dook 4 Brains Democrat Voting Leftys,
    This is Sage Legislation which I, Earl Pitts American agree witl 100%.
    You Dooks will of course hate it.
    I’ve got the word from The Sage Ron, “THE RONALD” DeSantis and his Lovely Wife Casey that this Sage Legislation will be signed into law.
    SPECIAL MESSAGE TO ALL DOOK 4 BRAINS LEFTYS:
    Prepare yourselves to begin engageing in your Typical Wailing And Gnashing of Teeth.
    Thank you Florida’s Dook 4 Brains Leftys,
    Earl Pitts American

    • rick whitaker's

      March 7, 2024 at 6:07 pm

      earl, so when some cop lays you out and causes you severe pain just for you being earl, and no other reason, don’t ask for a review of all the cops lies that took you down just for being earl. i’d say that after all the lies and bigoted name calling you do, someone is going to love taking you down. ALL your comments are hurtful, and demeaning, so you set yourself up. maybe one of your victims will victimize you. or atleast snitch you out to the cops.

      • Stand With Law Enforcement

        March 7, 2024 at 6:26 pm

        Great points; Hamas Earl is a MAGA stooge and absolutely will resist arrest.

        • Dont Say FLA

          March 8, 2024 at 7:31 am

          The civilian review board still exists in a way.

          The review board is every civilian with a cell phone camera and/or a home surveillance system.

          We are ALL watching. And reporting.

          And it’s up to all of us to ensure the bad cops no longer get away with it like they always did.

          Most folks like to say most cops are good, and that’s mostly accurate, except when they help cover up for the bad cops, when they’re complicit in bad behavior from other copts, that means they’re bad too.

          And we have to fix it. Who shall police the police?

          We the People. We have to police the police.

  • Stand With Law Enforcement

    March 7, 2024 at 6:05 pm

    If you don’t support LEOs, you’re not wanted in America.

    Take your fentanyl, your fake phone cards and f*ck right off.

    • Dont Say FLA

      March 8, 2024 at 7:37 am

      See this is a perfect example of complicity and covering for bad cops.

      Questioning the actions of a cop, even one who shot somebody dead, is akin to questioning the military budget in USA.

      They call themselves The Blue, but they think and act in Black and White.

      Their motto, “I am going home at the end of my shift,” should replace “Protect and Serve” on any police cars or badges that still read “Protect and Serve”

      But SWLE says if you don’t support LEOs, including murdering LEOs, extorting LEOS, drug addicted LEOs, cash thieving LEOs, sexual assaulting LEOs and whatever else naughty illegal things some LEOs will get up to, then you’re not wanted in America, but those LEOs are wanted, right SWLE? You fight for the rights of cops that murder and rape? YEP. You do.

  • George

    March 7, 2024 at 6:30 pm

    I guess you’ll just have to take your complaint directly to the Chief’s or Sheriff’s office. And don’t forget the union. They’re probably the ones who pushed hardest for this.

    • Dont Say FLA

      March 8, 2024 at 9:47 am

      Also, don’t forget take some Vaseline with you, because they WILL dry F you in the A.

    • MH/Duuuval

      March 8, 2024 at 9:50 am

      Police unions are waxing in power — enabled by state legislators for ideological and partisan interests.

      Police misbehavior is no problem to those with MAGA or $$$ connections.

  • Gr00mer Republican Christians

    March 7, 2024 at 7:26 pm

    Christian Ziegler, the former chair of the Florida GOP, will not face criminal charges following an investigation into a sexual assault allegation that derailed his political career.

    Local police had decided not to proceed with sexual battery charges in January after they determined the sexual encounter was “likely consensual,” but they also concluded that he had recorded it without the permission of his accuser. Now, the state attorney’s office in Sarasota has said it has found insufficient evidence to file video voyeurism charges.

  • MH/Duuuval

    March 7, 2024 at 8:02 pm

    No rational person would agree that having an agency investigate itself gets the optimum results. In any case, don’t hold your breath until TK Waters appoints his own civilian review board.

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 8, 2024 at 7:26 am

    How’s that whole Boeing regulating itself working out? It’s working perfectly? Well hot damn, let’s have the cops do it too.

  • CharlieMAc

    March 8, 2024 at 11:34 am

    So the local Citizens Police Review board has been so unsuccessful we should keep it? It has been meeting for a couple of years and so far they have only fussed and discussed who has and who has not met the requirements to be a member. OH and what a coffee cup can and can not say. IF thew city commission, the city manager, the county commissioners and Mayor are properly charged to do their jobs, we the citizens have elected officials to review and do somethiig about bad policing!

    • MH/Duuuval

      March 8, 2024 at 10:29 pm

      I prefer an elected board — although I would be reluctant to put myself forward as I can be paranoid about the Thin Blue Line.

Comments are closed.


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