Miami-Dade approves independent civilian panel for police accountability

MIAMI – Miami-Dade County commissioners voted Monday to move forward with establishing an independent civilian panel for police accountability.

“The community has been asking for this,” said Commissioner Barbara Jordan, who spearheaded the move.

The approval comes in the wake of nationwide outcry and protests over police brutality. The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis brought the civilian panel back into focus.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez vetoed a previous proposal for the panel in July, urging commissioners to approve a modified plan that would prevent county employees and elected officials from being subpoenaed. It was also vetoed back in 2018.

The decision Monday is being called by many a step in the right direction, reviving a tool that had been in place since 2009.

“The Panel is a critical first step to creating trust, oversight, and transparency between law enforcement and the community,” Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava said in a statement. “Today’s decision is a victory for the coalition of thousands of advocates who worked for so long to ensure the Independent Civilian Panel was restored.”

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