Law enforcement officials are pushing for police reform in Broward County. During a news briefing on June 5, the county's Chiefs of Police announced their plan to address some of the systemic problems within their law enforcement community. They've also issued an apology to families affected by police violence.
"One of the key things that we've heard repeatedly across this entire country is the outcry for better training and inclusion within the community to ensure that we have a clear understanding, as law enforcement professionals, about the real issues between racial discriminatory practices that exist," Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said on Friday.
Sheriff Tony, along with police chiefs from all over the county, introduced a five-step plan that outlined their intentions to "eradicate" systemic racism and change the culture within their respective departments.
The plan is to remove "bad officers" from within police departments, review "use of force" policies, and train and track the behavior of officers in each department.
They will also strive to "educate officers on systemic racism and bias" and work to rebuild trust and accountability within the community.
"We must cease this moment of turmoil and unrest to really step up and do what we haven't done," Broward County Mayor Dale Holness said.
The Unified Policing Initiative will cost $1 million to be implemented. According to the department, it "is an increase in the $500,000 that was initially committed to this initiative in 2019."
The move came about after protests broke out following the death of George Floyd. His murder by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin sparked massive demonstrations in cities across the country, including in South Florida.
This isn't the first time Broward addressed the police treatment of minorities in the county. Last April, two deputies were seen on film pepper-spraying a black teenager, smashing his forehead against the concrete, and punching him in the head.
According to New York Magazine, the incident sparked outrage, and Sheriff Tony vowed a "tactful" investigation into the incident. The deputies were suspended and charged with misdemeanors for battery and falsifying police reports, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
After Parkland killings, Broward County vowed to police aggressively. Then a deputy punched a teen. https://t.co/0Q80ids6BX— BlackInformant 🔥👑🔥 (@BlackInformant 🔥👑🔥)1556015703.0
This new plan by Broward police launched as it was announced, and the chiefs are encouraging their officers to take action if they see a fellow deputy cross the line.