Tampa Citizens Review Board holds meeting amid political fight

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Sitting at the same dais where city councilors will determine the future of Tampa Police Department‘s Citizens Review Board, one member needed clarity.

“It leaves a bit of confusion for people in the community,” said member Carolyn Collins. “Are we still here? What are we going to do? How are we going to do it?”

Councilors are nearing a final vote to appoint seven members and relegate the mayor to three. It’s an emotional fight, given the board’s duties of reviewing uses of force by TPD, and it took on new meaning after the death of George Floyd.

The NAACP supports the council’s push and wants the right to appoint an eleventh member.

“African Americans did not start this fight,” said Yvette Lewis, the president of the Hillsborough County NAACP. “We did not start ‘biking while Black.’ We did not start ‘driving while Black.’”

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