MIAMI - The ACLU of Florida and its Greater Miami Chapter are calling on Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez to approve the creation of and funding for an Independent Community Panel (ICP) to provide independent oversight for the Miami Dade Police Department (MDPD) and other county employees after the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners approved the funding in a 7-5 vote.
In a letter signed by ACLU of Florida executive director Howard Simon and ACLU of Florida Greater Miami Chapter president Christopher Brochyus, the organization calls on Mayor Gimenez to approve the funding, despite public statements that he may veto it.
Miami-Dade County previously had a civilian oversight body for police and other county employees, the Independent Review Panel (IRP), until 2009. The ICP which was approved by the Commission would similarly be an independent body made up of individuals from within the community who would fairly review complaints of misconduct by MDPD officers or other county employees. The ACLU of Florida has been urging the reinstatement of such a body for years.
From the letter to Mayor Gimenez:
“In an environment where there is more focus than ever on police-community tensions, especially those deriving from the excessive use of force and deadly shootings by police officers, it is critical that our community has an impartial civilian body to review an officer’s actions and what if any further action may be needed — for the officer as well as the department involved.
“The ICP, as was the case with the previous Independent Review Panel, will be charged with reviewing allegations of police misconduct, the overwhelming majority of which in the past have dealt with complaints about discourtesy or improper procedure. And, as was the case with the predecessor panel, it will also be charged with reviewing complaints involving all employees of all County agencies.
“Some independent civilian agency is necessary to fulfill this role in our community.
“The work of an independent civilian body will help ensure confidence of the people of Miami-Dade County in their police department and in all county employees.
“We strongly support the revival of the ICP, and request that you do the same.”
The full letter is available here: https://www.aclufl.org/sites/default/files/2018-02-12-acluflgimenezicpletter-sigs.pdf