DeSantis Makes Major New Move to Protect Police

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[Photo Credit: By Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America - Ron DeSantis, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=139870310]

On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis enacted a contentious bill that removes the authority of civilian oversight committees to examine instances of police misconduct.

HB 601 grants local chiefs of police agencies the authority to establish their own “civilian oversight” committees, consisting of three to seven members who are all selected by the chief or sheriff.

However, these boards have the limited authority to evaluate and assess policies and processes, but they do not have the jurisdiction to supervise or monitor use-of-force complaints or internal affairs investigations.

DeSantis claimed his new law “puts the kibosh on these extrajudicial investigations against law enforcement,”

Local governments are prohibited by law from appointing members to the boards.

On Friday, DeSantis was accompanied by Mark Glass, the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, as well as State Rep. Wyman Duggan, the sponsor of the measure, and Rep. Alex Rizo, both Republicans representing Duval and Miami-Dade respectively.

According to the LeRoy Collins Institute, a nonpartisan policy institution at Florida State University, there are 21 citizen police oversight committees in Florida. Currently, there are two advisory boards in South Florida that include civilians as members.

One is located in Fort Lauderdale, while the other is in Delray Beach.

In 2019, West Palm Beach created a use-of-force advisory board, consisting primarily of people appointed from within the police department, with the exception of a legal counsel.

[READ MORE: DeSantis Signs New Bill Taking Action Against Child Sex Predators]

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