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Joyce Hamilton Henry

Advocates call for repeal of Florida’s ban on automatic restoration of voting rights for ex-felons

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Florida is one of only three states in the nation where felons and ex-felons permanently lose their right to vote, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.  So on the last day to register to vote in the August 30 primary election, advocates throughout the Sunshine State called for a repeal of that law on Monday. “The voting ban is the single most powerful voter suppression tactic in the country,” said Dr. Joyce Hamilton Henry, Director of Advocacy for the ACLU of Florida, at a…

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ACLU tells Tampa City Council they have legal authority to name civilian review board members with subpoena power

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The ACLU of Florida said today that they believe City of Tampa Attorney Julia Mandell was incorrect in her assessment that the city’s charter only allows the mayor to have the right to name the members of a civilian review board. The issue of who controls the power to name such an advisory committee has roiled City Hall over the past month, as a majority of the City Council – backed by their own attorney – insists it has the power…

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Tampa to begin accepting applications for civilian review board

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In an editorial titled, “Don’t mess with police board,” the Tampa Tribune’s editorial page on Thursday writes that the Tampa City Council should give up its “legally suspect effort” to control who gets to name the recently enacted police civilian review board. Thirteen days ago Mayor Bob Buckhorn signed an executive order laying out the details for a civilian review board that would review cases with the Tampa Police Department  involving the use of force and other cases that resulted in internal…

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ACLU calls Bob Buckhorn’s comments on ‘fringe’ activists ‘needlessly divisive’

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The ACLU is one of the leading groups calling for a civilian police review board in Tampa, and the civil liberties group does not appreciate Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s comments regarding its participation in trying to establish such an agency. Earlier on Tuesday the mayor spoke out for the first time since last week’s extraordinary City Council meeting, where the board voted to explore giving itself the power to nominate seven members of a nine-member review board, the exact opposite of what…

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Tampa City Council moves forward on creating civilian police review board

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Tampa City Council today moved ahead toward the creation of a citizens police review board, but what that agency will ultimately look like and who will appoint its members has yet to be determined. The Council approved a motion brought forward by Councilman Mike Suarez that will have the city’s legal department review whether the Council can create such an advisory committee, and if so, can it be a hybrid review committee, with the powers to do so under the City Charter. “An…

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Eric Ward confirmed by Tampa City Council as new police chief

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although he’s effectively been on the job for nearly two weeks, Eric Ward did not officially become the current police chief in Tampa until Thursday morning, when the City Council unanimously confirmed his appointment. It came while dozens of his fellow TPD officers crammed into the Council’s intimate chambers to be part of the occasion. The 48-year-old Ward grew up in East Tampa and has served in virtually every position in the department over the past 26 years. He served as…

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Two Tampa City Council members say they’ll weigh bike citation policy in approving Eric Ward as new chief

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A half-hour after Eric Ward was named the new police chief for the city of Tampa, two City Council members joined a coalition of activist groups who again called on the Tampa Police Department to temporarily stop their current bike citation policy —  at least until after the U.S. Justice Department finishes its review of the agency’s practices. Council Chairman Frank Reddick and District 7 Council member Lisa Montelione joined members of the ACLU, CAIR, the NAACP and a host of other…

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