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MEDIA CONTACT: ACLU Media Office,, 786-363-2737

January 18, 2023

City Council members will vote on the mayor’s decision tomorrow morning during their next public council meeting.

TAMPA, Fla. — On Wednesday, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor vetoed the City Council’s unanimous decision to allow Tampa residents to vote on giving the Citizen Review Board (CRB) an independent attorney earlier this month.

This veto is yet another delay in strengthening the CRB, which previous polling shows that the majority of Tampa voters support.

Joyce Hamilton, director of statewide initiatives of the ACLU of Florida, responded to the mayor’s veto with the following statement:

“Tampa voters already agree that strengthening the Citizen Review Board benefits everyone in our community. This unnecessary veto only rejects what has been unanimously decided by City Council members and further delays this process. 

“The time for Tampa residents to have a voice in voting for the Citizen’s Review Board power is long overdue. The community has already witnessed the harms that can come from unchecked police power, from the alarming 2015 news report that revealed Black people riding bikes were being overpoliced, to the heavy-handed response to protesters’ call for police reform in 2020. 

“By denying the Mayor’s veto, Council members have the opportunity to give Tampa residents a voice and to enhance trust in police through a fair, independent Citizen Review Board. Tampa residents deserve better justice. Ensuring there are mechanisms in place to hold local police accountable would provide that.”