Follow along with our live-tweet thread https://twitter.com/citybeautiful/status/1279877712224505857
. @OrlandoPolice will apparently be changing how they deal with traffic stops, citizen interactions, and potentially partnering with mental health agencies. No solid plans however.
OPD is now describing their training process and how long their training is. Doesn't seem like they're talking about changing their training, just trying to convince the audience that they already train enough.
Speaker just referred to the police as "our troops"?
The department is basically bragging about doing these trainings already. Not making a good case for these trainings actually making a difference in policing. They are discussing some "potentially" doing "training enhancements". Still no solid plans or references.
Now discussing transparency and accountability. Speaker brags that they have been "doing this for a long time" and mentioned entering into the Obama era Open Data program in 2016. Again, making a very bad case for the department improving at all with these reforms.
OPD Chief just said he would recommend the Citizens Review Board to anyone in the country. Not surprising, since the Orlando CRB is 100% toothless and has no power.
Talking about their program for introducing OPD officers to the neighborhoods that they will be working in. No mention of the fact that less than 20% of OPD officers actually live in Orlando.
Talking about their commitment to racial equity... through OPD staffing diversity. Says they struggle to recruit African American Orlandoans... no reflection on why that may be the case.
Some question over how this is a "workshop", so far this program has just been the OPD Chief bragging about what they already do with some vague assurances of nominal change. Right now talking about all the wonderful community programs they already do.
Commissioner Bakari Burns is now speaking as we move into the Q&A portion of things. Commissioner Burns is questioning trainer bias and if there is a training for trainers. The Chief says they have to go through a certification process. There is no formal evaluation however.
. @OrlandoPDChief is in a roundabout way admitting that there is not a formal or substantive process for screening trainers for officers in general and admits that recruits would be afraid to report an issue with a trainer.
Commissioner Burns questions if there is an emphasis on "Protecting and Serving" the public. @OrlandoPDChief is claiming that they are always emphasizing that. Not sure what OPD believes Protecting and Serving actually means considering their records.
. @OrlandoPDChief says "we need to protect this profession".
Everything is being framed in the context of "protecting" police departments. There has been no discussion for protecting citizens from police harm.
Commissioner Burns brings up the police shooting and killing of an Orlandoan recently and the fact that the bodycam footage is not being released and if this is allowed. @OrlandoPDChief dodges the question and claims they can't release the footage because of an investigation.
We would like to note that technically they can legally they withhold the footage if there is an ongoing investigation, but they do not *have* to. Expresses concern that a "premature" releasing of the video would affect the investigation.
Commissioner Burns presses again on this question. @OrlandoPDChief says he needs to ask his legal team (he doesn't, they can release the video whenever they want).
Commissioner Burns questions the Use of Force police by @OrlandoPolice. @OrlandoPDChief says that officer responses to citizens is entirely dependent on how citizens interact with them (functionally this is impossible) and that they are "always" updating it to improve it.
Commissioner Burns just asked if OPD uses facial recognition technology. @OrlandoPDChief says they use a database but not live facial recognition software. We know this isn't the full truth because @OrlandoWeekly did an extensive investigation on their facial recognition program.
Commissioner Regina Hill is now on and thanking OPD for all their hard and great work for the community. Talking about keeping OPD officers safe so they can go home to their families. No mention of the many Orlandoans who were killed by OPD who never got to go home themselves.
Commissioner Hill's question is about how to recruit more African American police officers. Now just a discussion on diversity recruitment.
. @OrlandoPDChief says that African American families don't encourage their children to become cops. Says that they need the community to help them address this. Seems a little strange to be putting the onus of this onto the community they are terrorizing.
. @OrlandoPDChief just said that there is a crisis in this country where "the blacks" are not encouraged to join police departments by their communities.
Commissioner Hill is pushing back on this statement. OPD Chief definitely stepped over a line. Now talking about the fact that OPD is internally racist toward black officers.
After the little spat, we are back to the compliments for OPD.
Commissioner Hill mentioning how OPD often shoots and kills suspects over misdemeanors because they get in their cars. Says she wants to see "a little more into that". Pretty grievous acknowledgement of how OPD operates but no follow up by any party.
Talking about how OPD has been doing racial bias trainings but it needs to be more "focused on"
Commissioner Hill talking about how OPD undercover officers almost killed her by stalking her vehicle while undercover and then chasing her at 90 MPH without lights.. The Commissioner is not giving very much weight to this incident despite how dangerous it was on OPD's behalf.
Commissioner Hill is ending her statements now with saying she supports @OrlandoPDChief. Not sure why after everything she just brought up.
We are now to Commissioner Sheehan. Immediately questioning how many other agencies report their use of force, saying that OPD's high numbers might be because they just report more. Now @OrlandoPDChief blaming a high rate on the nightlife in Orlando.
OPD admits that basically all agencies report these numbers so Commissioner Sheehan's attempt to absolve OPD of culpability is squashed by... OPD.
We are getting pedantic now, essentially just Commissioner Sheehan OPD chief complaining about how there isn't a standardized system. Commissioner Sheehan says that OPD acts appropriately considering how "rude and violent" people are in downtown Orlando. Wow.
Commissioner Sheehan talking about racist social media posts by OPD officers and how we "need to look into this".
Commissioner Sheehan comes out and says it. She supports OPD and doesn't support defunding the police, while literally admitting that she didn't know about several community programs by OPD despite being in office for 20 years. 20 years of enabling OPD terror.
The commissioner is saying that it is "unfortunate" that we are judged for the worst of our professions actions (?).
Commissioner Sheehan just said that it "broke her heart" that some of the kids she saw grow up got tear gassed by OPD for a sit in past curfew. Sheehan says that it was the protesters fault and that your 1st amendment rights end at curfew.
The Commissioner says that one time OPD pulled her over and she feared for her life and says there are some bad apples. However she appreciates OPD and supports them. C'mon now.
Commissioner Stuart is now speaking. Asking about having the police academy working with the Valencia Peace and Justice academy to establish a curriculum.
. @OrlandoPDChief is waaaaay backtracking on his earlier remark about recruits being afraid of reporting trainer issues for fear of failing and says his misspoke. His legal counsel must have gotten to him after that.
Commissioner Stuart is now following Sheehan's line about OPD being unfairly judged
Commissioner Stuart is questioning how OPD changes and reviews their policies. OPD Chief isn't really answering his question and we are going in circles.
Now talking about 8 Can't Wait, which has been roundly rejected by the public. Zero mention of the more significant calls for defunding.
Commissioner Stuart is saying he is frustrated that people still have problems with OPD despite them meeting 8 Can't Wait.
The chief is now talking about the need for calling out individuals who "spread misinformation" about OPD. Sounds like the council and OPD are saying they are going to start publicly attacking those that criticize them.
Nothing much out of Commissioner Stuart and we are moving on.
Commissioner Hill interjecting and mentioning about the OPD unions condemnation of @OrlandoPDChief for holding a black protesters hand and now the chief claiming they are accepting the changes despite their condemnation.
Now @OrlandoPDChief talking about how they have gotten soooo many calls thanking them and that people think they're doing great. No mention of the unions comments.
Commissioner Ortiz is now up. Uses a JFK quote to start blaming Orlando citizens for not being involved enough with the police and claims we have the "toughest self policing" in the country. Says everyone needs to enroll in the citizens police academy.
The commissioner says that blacks and Hispanics need to be "cured" of their apprehension and misperception of the police. Suggesting that high school students are enrolled in the police academy.
Still going on about how the community is at fault for the police killing them and about how demoralizing it is for the officers.
Now @OrlDistrict2 says that no-knock warrants shouldn't be banned for police safety and that the police are justified. Says that OPD has the most ethical of officers.
. @OrlDistrict2 is relentlessly attacking any suggestions for reform. Commissioner Hill is angry. Ortiz ends and Mayor Buddy Dyer intersects and talks about how everyone comes from different walks of life. Tense situation over pretty much no tangible reforms suggested.
Patty Hill is talking about her personal experiences with police violence locally and @OrlDistrict2 is just saying "wow" over and over to dismiss her.
The entire City Council has been defending the police but only @OrlDistrict2 has been specifically pushing back on *any* need for reform. Commissioner Ortiz needs to be removed from officer ASAP.
. @OrlDistrict2 is a former police officer. Suffice to say, he represents how the regular officers of @OrlandoPolice actually feel. This only proves further the necessity of #DefundThePolice
Mayor Dyer is now ending the workshop. Looking a little forlorn while saying it was the "best" workshop they had done yet.