TAMPA, Fla. — During a news conference streamed on Facebook, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor Castor discussed three initiatives for the city's police department.
First, she said effective immediately, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will take over investigations into officer-involved shootings. She said this will allow for an unbiased investigation and safeguard both accountability and transparency.
Second, she said she is changing two policies. The first is officers are now required to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force.
The second policy change adds wording to reinforce the use of chokeholds or the “carotid restraint” is banned. Mayor Castor said that practice was banned decades ago, but this codifies that policy.
Finally, she has created the Mayor’s Community Task Force on Policing to allow for a better conversation with the community. The task force will look at national best practices for policing and make sure TPD’s policies align with those.
Mayor Castor said now is the time to have the uncomfortable conversations that are needed to affect change.
Castor's news conference comes after weeks of protests in the city following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Floyd's death on Memorial Day sparked nationwide and even global demonstrations against police brutality and institutional racism.
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