POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Supporters and detractors of Pompano Beach Vice Mayor Beverly Perkins packed the city commission chambers Tuesday as the official at the center of a traffic stop controversy apologized for her conduct, kicking off a heated meeting.
The saga began after the release of body camera video from an April 6 Fort Lauderdale police traffic stop that shows Perkins telling the officer to “find something better to [expletive] do!” after he issued her a verbal warning for speeding.
In her apology Tuesday, Perkins said she “complied with instructions from the police officer.”
“If any exchange on my part, the conversation with the police officer, is perceived as being disrespectful, then I do apologize,” she said.
Things got heated following the apology, with Pompano Beach Mayor Rex Hardin banging his gavel and threatening to clear the chambers as the crowd got raucous.
One man was forced out of the meeting.
Supporters of Perkins took to the podium, amid an hour-long public debate about the vice mayor’s conduct.
“Yeah she made a mistake, she apologized,” one supporter said. “Have none of you ever done the same thing or something similar?”
Another said it felt like Perkins was “in a trial.”
But those denouncing her behavior spoke as well. Barbara Stern, the attorney representing the Fort Lauderdale police union, took to the podium, with some of its members looking on.
“You were not gracious. You were not apologetic,” Stern said. “You were rude, unprofessional and disrespectful.”
Another detractor said he respected Perkins, but doesn’t “respect her behavior.”
Local 10 News caught up with Perkins during a break in the meeting to see if she wished to elaborate on her stated apology. She did not.
“I’ve made my statement at the beginning of the meeting and that was it,” she said.
After the meeting, Hardin said he was disappointed over what happened, saying it damaged the city’s reputation.