The Citizen Police Review Board held their monthly meeting at the Smith-Williams Service Center on December 1st.
The board engaged in a lengthy discussion concerning the controversy over CPRB member Taylor Biro displaying an “abolish the police” sticker on her coffee cup at a board meeting. The Police Benevolent Association called for her immediate removal from the board on the grounds that the display indicated bias in violation of the requirements for her appointment to the board. The PBA will attend the city commission meeting on December 7th to request that they remove Biro from the board.
A dozen citizens, many of whom are local activists, attended the meeting to express their full support of Biro. FSU SDS Vice President Alex Carson stated, “I’m here today to voice my full and unconditional support for Taylor Biro.” He continued, “Its honestly ridiculous that (the PBA) even had the gall to speak on this considering this is a body that supposedly exists to point out their copious shortcomings and abuses of power.”
TCAC President Delilah Pierre voiced her support for Biro and opined on the local police department stating, “You can’t go two or three weeks in Tallahassee without the Tallahassee police department either fraternizing with a white supremist, having a relationship with an evangelical church that has given millions of dollars to organizations that persecute queer and trans people.” Pierre also criticized the CPRB for being “a vehicle for police interest.”
In response to the public speakers Taylor Biro stated, “I’m just so thankful for y’all and if anything, abolition has a day in the spotlight, and it needs to be. We need to imagine that its possible, and I think speaking it into existence is creating the future we deserve.”
At the conclusion of the public comments, the board expressed their support Biro despite several board members offering differing viewpoints regarding Biro’s sticker. Chairman Edward Gaines suggested that all board members consider resigning if Biro was removed. The board then unanimously voted to issue a press release and letter to the city commission supporting Biro.
Board members Edward Gaines, Barry Munroe and Suzanne Van Wyk’s 2-year terms will conclude at the end of 2022. Chairman Gaines announced Van Wyk’s decision to decline re-appointment, while Gaines and Munroe both seek reappoint by the city commission.
The next board meeting will take place on January.