Taylor Biro, a former member of the city of Tallahassee’s Citizens Police Review Board, filed a federal civil complaint against the city of Tallahassee with the United States District Court Northern District of Florida on Tuesday.
The lawsuit requests $75,000 from the city of Tallahassee and that the city pay all her legal fees associated with the case.
Read filing here.
The complaint contends that the city of Tallahassee decision to terminate Biro was first amendment retaliation for her abolitionist views of law enforcement.
The complaint states, the “actions against Plaintiff were clearly taken against her based on her speech, i.e., the sticker on her cup and have caused her immeasurable damages.”
In addition, Biro alleges that she was “targeted by a slew of Blue Lives Matter Advocates and was harassed in the local news.”
Before the vote to remove Biro, Commissioner Curtis Richardson indicated that the CPRB needs to have a working relationship law enforcement and that recent actions by the Board has made such a relationship impossible.
“I don’t know how we get there from here”, Richardson added.
In addition, in November of last year, Tallahassee Inspector General Dennis Sutton questioned CPRB member Biro‘s objectivity during a board subcommittee meeting based on an opinion column written by Biro and published in the Tallahassee Democrat.
In the column, Biro wrote, “Don’t ask us to recommend a policy or training to fix this, because policing isn’t broken, it’s performing exactly as it was designed. We cannot remove the eggs from a cake after it comes out of the oven. Sometimes you just need a new recipe.”
Sutton said actions like Biro’s could give a negative impression of the board to Tallahassee Police Department members, decreasing their willingness to work with them. He also said board members were required to say that they would remain unbiased on their application to join the board.
“There is a concern by the rank and file that this board is completely biased against the police department,” Sutton said.
Biro acknowledged in the complaint that a cup she had while on the Citizen Police Review Board carried an “abolish police” sticker during the two years she was a member of the board.
Biro is being represented by Tallahassee attorney Marie A. Mattox.