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Charlotte County Democrats issue recommendations to local police to address racial bias
by Fran Dance
The Charlotte County Democrats (CC Dems) have released a twelve point set of recommendations to Punta Gorda Police Chief Pamela Davis and Charlotte County Sheriff Prummell for their consideration and response. This unorthodox approach to seek dialogue and change was triggered by the slaying of George Floyd on May 25th, which has resulted in a nationwide re-examination of policing methodology. Sadly, members of the U.S. House of Representatives and US Senate are not able to agree on a bipartisan bill to address Justice in Policing. Hence, CC Dems prepared its own set of twelve recommendations in order to work collaboratively with local authorities to quickly implement tangible changes. These recommendations, once implemented, could prevent a future conflict between police and the communities they serve; thereby possibly preventing inadvertent injury or death to Charlotte County people of color.
In Charlotte County, two peaceful Black Lives Matter marches in Punta Gorda were held in June, which included our local police executives’ direct participation and support. There have already been positive outcomes from these marches as well as follow-up meetings, such as the one held in Punta Gorda on June 24th. CC Dems acknowledge police efforts to listen to the communities they serve and to respond to its residents’ requests. The party is pleased that both the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and the Punta Gorda Police Department (PGPD) will require body-worn cameras for active duty patrolling officers. While PGPD’s plan is already well underway, CCSO’s implementation timing is not yet known. CC Dems advocates for implementation no later than September 1, 2020.
CC Dems will also request that US Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott support passage of S. 3912, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which was already passed in the US House of Representatives on June 25, 2020. If this Act does not come to the floor for a vote, the Senators will be asked to introduce a bipartisan bill in cooperation with the House of Representatives to appropriately address these policies at the Federal level during the current legislative term.