Another special committee of the City Council created for dubious reasons is muddling along. It has issued its “final report” but continues to exist.
That makes no sense, but neither does the committee’s existence.
The two-member committee was created last year and continued this year, charged with holding workshops that are “fact finding in nature with the goal of fostering constructive dialogue about the challenges, successes, and opportunities available to us to make this a safer community for all our citizens,” according to Council President Sam Newby.
Most of the report is gobbledygook but it endorses the idea of a citizen review board that would add another layer to the examination of complaints against the police.
Anti-law and order elements fanatically support such boards, which have proven ineffective and counter-productive everywhere they have been tried.
The strangest comment came from Council Member Joyce Morgan, who is one of the members of the special committee. Michael Boylan is the other.
“Your reality may not be their reality,” Morgan said. “[Police are] going out into a world every single day when they don’t know whether or not they’re going to make it back home. But guess what? So are citizens! Citizens are experiencing that same thing. What we wanted to do is show them is that we’re more alike than different.”
Of course, there is only one reality.
Beyond that, the comparison of police who are protecting the public to criminals who are harming the public is ludicrous.
The police do not shoot down innocent citizens in the streets indiscriminately. That is a liberal fantasy.
Virtually no one in Jacksonville has been shot who was not attacking an officer, fleeing or resisting arrest. Mistakes in judgment made by officers during the heat of the moment are addressed and corrected.
Obeying an officer’s commands is the solution, not creating another layer of review from a politically motivated body.
Liberal council members who support a review board say a review board would ensure “transparency and accountability.”
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is completely open about complaints against officers, including shootings and there is a long, involved process that is completely transparent.
The annual Open Data Report from the sheriff’s office lists all complaints and outcomes.
In 2020 it showed 1,002 applications of force, and 92 percent were the result of having to overcome resistance. The report is broken down into incidents on the street and those in jail, which Eye on Jacksonville is not including. (Most simply result in being sprayed with Mace for fighting officers.)
Most of the incidents occurred during traffic stops and pursuits.
The police refer to the incidents as Response to Resistance, or RTR.
The report says: “JSO members are required to complete an RTR report in accordance with policy following a use of force incident. This report is reviewed by the member’s chain-of-command and by the Professional Oversight Unit.
“RTR reports are subject to further review by the Director of Personnel & Professional Standards, the Response to Resistance Review Board, and/or the Internal Affairs Unit, to ensure compliance with JSO policy and training. The Homicide Cold Case Unit responds and conducts a criminal investigation for all incidents involving an officer discharging a firearm at an individual.”
Complaints against police officers are accepted from any source and sent to the Internal Affairs Unit, which conducts a preliminary review of each complaint and all evidence and documentation associated with the complaint. Complaints involving allegations of misconduct are forwarded to the member’s supervisor for further investigation (when the allegation is of minor misconduct) or are investigated by an Internal Affairs detective (when the allegation is of serious misconduct). The State Attorney’s Office also reviews serious cases.
Of more than 1,000 complaints about JSO employees, 202 were sustained. It is significant that 151 of those were initiated by the police themselves, and only 51 by citizens.
Among the results were five officers fired and 27 resigned. The rest of the sustained cases resulted in lesser punishments, such as counseling and reprimands.
As for the claims of widespread “profiling” and bias, in 2020, there were 10 such complaints. Not one was sustained.
Is the community at large against the police? Not at all. A survey done at the University of North Florida in 2020 found that a majority of Jacksonville citizens — of all races — think the police are doing a good job.
Attacks on law and order around the nation are the work of liberals, who are using various methods to divide Americans for political purposes. The council committee seems to have no useful purpose other than providing a platform for that effort.