DeSantis shuts down bias anti-police review boards, and ‘the screeching from the Left is priceless. Ron2028!’

Leftist lamenting marked another win for America’s Governor as a new law “puts the kibosh” on anti-police efforts.

Readily employing controlled narratives to demonize conservative efforts, the public had already witnessed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his state’s legislature be attacked over acts that defended children, preserved parental rights and hamstrung powerful corporate interests. Friday, the Sunshine State took the fight directly to those narratives as a new law was signed regarding police oversight.

After unanimous passage in the Senate and a final vote of 81-28 in the House, DeSantis signed HB 601, summarized in part as, “Authorizing county sheriffs to establish civilian oversight boards to review the policies and procedures of the sheriff’s office and its subdivisions…” that would have the sheriff appoint three to seven members.

“I was proud to sign legislation today to ensure law enforcement officers can serve our communities without worrying about harassment from anti-police activists,” the governor said on X. “We will continue to take action to ensure Florida remains the friendliest state in the nation for law enforcement officers.”

Even efforts to malign the new law recognized that it did not dissolve the existing 21 civilian police oversight boards, as identified by the LeRoy Collins Institute, but instead tempered their ability to drum up controversy.

“What it’s going to do is — it really puts the kibosh on these extrajudicial investigations against law enforcement. They’ll set up these things called citizen review boards — usually in these very-tilted-politically jurisdictions — they’ll stack it with activists and they’ll just start reviewing things and trying to put people under the gun, even if there’s no basis to do that,” said the statesman at Friday’s signing from the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office.

“So we view that as very much a political weapon,” he added. “We don’t think that that will contribute to public safety at all. In fact, we think that that would hurt public safety. And so this bill really stops that from happening.”

DeSantis’ communications director Bryan Griffin shared those remarks from the governor over a previous post that had demonstrated how detrimental politicized oversight boards could be.

“It takes six paragraphs for the @AP to mention that Dexter Reed fired at the officers first. Eight for the @washingtonpost in their article,” he wrote of a Chicago incident. “The articles base their reporting on the findings of Chicago’s COPA, a citizen oversight board that has authority to review ‘All incidents, including those in which no allegation of misconduct is made’ and that professes a core mission of ‘identifying and addressing patterns of police misconduct.'”

“These citizen oversight boards are usually set up in ‘defund-the-police’ jurisdictions and can be stacked with political appointees picked to transmit an anti-police agenda,” Griffin stated. “The media run with their findings. In this climate, how can officers possibly defend themselves, and who would want to be in the law enforcement profession?”

Commenting on HB 601, Paul Eichner, chair of the Fort Lauderdale Police Advisory Board, told the Sun Sentinel that their role was just that, purely advisory and that they were not authorized to make determinations.

“Asked how the new law would change the board,” the Sentinel reported, “Eichner reserved making any comment, saying he awaited instruction from the city attorney.”

NR Hines, policy strategist at ACLU of Florida, had not been so reserved in a February statement that read, “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,” added the statement.

However, ACLU of Florida interim executive director Howard Simon notably remarked in a release Friday, “The legislation does not dissolve civilian review boards, it simply narrows their authority. For example, nothing in the legislation signed today prevents citizens from reviewing public records, including the record of a police investigation, and any such prohibition would be blatantly unconstitutional.”

In addition to HB 601, DeSantis also signed SB 184, making it a misdemeanor for someone to enter a 25-foot radius to harass a first responder after being verbally warned against interfering in their duties.

“The screeching from the Left,” as one social media user suggested, “is priceless.”

Kevin Haggerty


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