Commissioners Matlow, Porter Continue Attacks on TPD

Commissioners Matlow, Porter Continue Attacks on TPD


Two days after this story was originally published on April 20, Commissioner Matlow has once again alleged that a TPD officer “planted evidence” in a social media post. Planting evidence is crime.

Original Story

After a Leon County jury delivered a guilty verdict related to a DUI case on Monday April 8, City Commissioner Matlow continued to push the narrative that a Tallahassee Police Department officer “planted” and “fabricated” evidence.

Matlow’s allegations were based on a leaked, edited police officer body-cam video published by a left-leaning blog with political ties to Commissioner Matlow and Commissioner Jack Porter. The article identified an item recovered from the defendant’s car as “planted evidence.”

However, TPD Chief Revell told TR the item in question was never entered as evidence. State Attorney Jack Campbell, who handled the prosecution of the DUI case, verified Revell’s statement.

Chief Revell: “They tried to discredit our officers and our department”

In addition, City Commissioner Jack Porter, during the April 10th city commission meeting – days after the jury rendered a guilty verdict – took an opportunity to push the narrative that the TPD officer did something wrong.

During the Sharing of Ideas portion of the meeting, Porter said, referring to the leaked video, “I was disturbed by what I saw, I was disturbed by the response from our Chief. I’m disturbed by the singling out of my colleague and a member of the public. I’m disturbed by the way I feel personally disrespected by you Chief Revell in public comments you’ve made about me and my colleague Commissioner Matlow. I’m not surprised by that disrespect but it’s disappointing.”

Chief Revell and State Attorney Campbell responded to the attacks after the trial.

In an email to TPD employees, Revell said, “I’m sure you have heard by now, but the defendant in this case was found guilty of DUI. Although they tried to discredit our officers and our department, the jury didn’t buy into the gross misrepresentation of the BWC (Body-Worn Camera) footage by Max Herrle and his tabloid journalism.”

In the email, Revell also noted the “well-publicized assumption of wrong- doing by City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow.”

Campbell, in a statement to local media, said that the “totally unfounded and sensational accusations against this officer — clearly the jury saw through the allegation that she had planted anything. The defendant’s the one who decided to drink. The defendant’s the one who decided to drive. And we’re going to continue to do our business even when people want to hurl allegations at the officer and the criminal justice system in general.”

The Case

The official arrest report says Officer Kiersten Oliver stopped Calvin Riley Sr. around 2 a.m. – back in May of 2023 – after observing Riley driving at a high rate of speed on South Monroe, with no headlights on. Riley told officers that he had been at a local bar where he consumed a couple of beers. The officers also determined that Riley’s driving license was suspended and indicated in the police report that Riley had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. Riley refused a field sobriety test and was arrested.

State Attorney Campbell: “The defendant’s the one who decided to drink. The defendant’s the one who decided to drive.”

However, in a pre-trial motion, Riley’s defense attorney argued that the arrest was tainted when Officer Oliver opened a bottle of vodka found in Riley’s car, disposed of the contents, and placed the bottle back in Riley’s car. The defense stated in the motion that the prosecution was “based on a fundamentally flawed stop and search.”

After several motions and decisions by the judge, the case was set for trial.

The Effort to Discredit, A Juror is Removed

However, on April 3, the blog Our Tallahassee published an edited video, along with a clearly biased narrative stating that a TPD officer had “planted evidence.”

Within hours of the release of the Our Tallahassee blog article, City Commissioner Matlow was quick to give credibility to the allegations. Matlow posted on X, “This is troubling to watch. As a City Commissioner in Tallahassee, I’ll be requesting a full review and explanation of this incident by the City Manager.”

The Big Bend PBA President Richard Murphy responded to the allegations. Murphy via a press release stated, “This outrageous story published yesterday, the day before the suspect’s trial begins, can serve no other purpose than to taint the jury pool by vilifying our police officer. We call for an im- mediate investigation into how the officer’s body cam footage was leaked to this reporter in an attempt to interfere with an official court proceeding.”

Before the trial began on April 5th, a juror was removed after the juror admitted seeing the Our Tallahassee blog article.

On April 6th, during the trial, Matlow posted on X, “Is there a point where you would deem it acceptable for law enforcement to fabricate and plant evidence during the course of an arrest?”

During the trial, prosecutors provided a detailed chronology and other videos were submitted as evidence. The chronology diminished the relevance of the “planted evidence” controversy. During closing arguments, the prosecution argued that the defense concocted a story about planting evidence. The defense said the TPD officers lied about the evidence.

The jury deliberated and delivered the guilty verdict at 3:30 p.m. on Mon- day, April 8th.

The Aftermath

After the trial and the jury verdict, Matlow continued his criticism of law enforcement. He posted on X, “The evidence presented at trial included all the hall- marks that drive distrust in law enforcement: phantom marijuana smells, fabricated evidence and incomplete body cam footage. Thankful for those that standup to injustice.”

The attacks on TPD appear to be a coordinated effort involving Matlow’s allies which include campaign operatives, progressive elements of the Democratic party and Commissioner Jack Porter.

Max Herrle, the publisher of the Our Tallahassee blog has worked as a campaign consultant for several progressive candidates and has a close relationship with City Commissioner Jack Porter. In addition, sources have indicated that Herrle was present during a WTXL interview with Calvin Riley which was published on April 4th. The video of the interview clearly shows a third person in the home where the interview took place. TR reached out to Vicki Bradley, WTXL News Director, however she refused to comment on the situation.

There is also a connection to the local Democratic party. Serenity Williams, who is listed as the President of the Leon Young Democrats, is also listed as the organizer of a GoFundMe page for the defendant, Calvin Riley. The fundraiser is titled, “Help Calvin Riley Rebuild after TPD Evidence Planting.” The three highest donors to the GoFundMe were Commissioner Jeremy Matlow ($250), Max Herrle, ($250), and Serenity Williams ($250).

Then days after the guilty verdict, Commissioner Porter – who must have known at this point the facts related to the “planted evidence” narrative – critized not only the actions by the TPD officer but criticized Chief Revell.

The Politics

With elections just months away, the results will determine the balance of power on the city commission. Commissioner Matlow has been very vocal in his support of Commissioner Porter and Dot Inman-Johnson, who is challenging incumbent Curtis Richardson.

Local political operatives say the latest attacks on law enforcement reveal just how far the progressive elements of the Democratic party will go to achieve a political advantage.

Others are critical of how the local mainstream media will not question Matlow about his attacks on TPD based on a false premise promoted by a political ally.

11 Responses to "Commissioners Matlow, Porter Continue Attacks on TPD"

  1. I wonder if these simpletons understand that it can’t be ‘planted evidence’ if it never entered as ‘evidence’?”

  2. The actions of the two commissioners, after the case was settled, coupled with their other recent actions and words could and should be used to verify the fact that progressive socialist politicians will deceive and tell falsehoods any time they get a chance to communicate!

    Please do due diligence and study the words, platforms, associations and policies of every candidate running for city commissioner before you vote.

  3. Did Porter ever thank the jurors? Or does she think this group of citizens are fools? or can’t think for themselves? How condescending. Knows better than everyone else.

    This is low and raggedy for WTXL. How can they think they are independent journalists while embedded with politicians aides and advisors? Who is Vicki Bradley? Does she too have a ‘close relationships’ with Max Herrle?

  4. At this point. Starting to look like zero common sense issue sprinkled with stupidity. Too much politics. Stop. Tallahassee is a Gem. Don’t turn into another Austin.

  5. Surely we all know that people are sometimes found guilty by juries or judges when they are not guilty. A conviction (even by a jury) doesn’t always mean the person did what they were found guilty of. The police officers turned off their cameras — that alone should cause any citizen to wonder whether they can trust what the officer says happens. (I’ve been a sworn officer a long time ago, and even a prosecutor.) If I had been prosecuting this case, I would have accepted a plea to a lesser included, so that officers knew that shutting off their cameras like they did here is just not going to be okay at all ever. That’s not because I’m soft on crime, but rather because our citizens deserve to be able to trust those who are sworn to serve them.

  6. If they would have said mishandling of evidence instead of planting evidence it might make sense. Sounds like unjust accusations by butt hurt politicians.

  7. I am a firm believer that if you are driving a Vehicle on the Road and do not have your Drivers License on you or it is Suspended, that it should be an automatic Arrest.

  8. When will the Pro-Hamas Progressives, Matlow and Porter, be organizing their “We Support Terrorists” and “Death To America” rally?

  9. Thank you Steve Stewart for following up on this. This looks to be nothing more than a publicity stunt on behalf of pollrumptious Porter and her minions to drum up election support.

  10. Headline should be TPD gets political. The mishandled alcohol bottle by officer, the state atty called a mistake. politically aggressive bureaucrat with a gun and badge never good. Not helping his case with the property tax hike and $130 million “campus”. saw same stuff with CityWalk. One day we will wish we had all our civil liberties back!

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