Florida House Hearing Police Reform Bill


The Florida House is taking up a bipartisan, compromise police reform bill on Friday, April 23. The bill would increase the amount of training for law enforcement officers and correctional officers.

The bill, HB 7051, has been a product of House Republican leadership, the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, and key voices within law enforcement to try and limit the use of chokeholds only under instances when on-site officers perceive immediate threats of serious bodily injury or death to themselves or other people. It would also require other officers to intervene when they witness other officers using excessive force.

Democratic lawmakers have proposed numerous police reform bills during this year’s legislative session, and this bill is a comprehensive package of 18 of them. Rep. Ramon Alexander (D-8) said he has appreciated the effort to reach across the aisle from Democrats and Republicans to put together meaningful legislation.

“I remember after the issue with George Floyd, that tragedy, the first person to pick up the phone to call me was Speaker Sprowls,” Alexander said. “We sat on the phone for maybe two and half, three hours, and he said ‘Ramon, help me understand this.” We began to have a very in-depth conversation, and I think that is what this body should be all about.”


Rep. Joe Geller (D-100) said the compromise was “great” and is showing signed of progress.

“This is a compromise. And it’s not one step forward. This is a number of steps forward,” Geller said. “It’s been the product, I understand, of long discussion and long debate. I want to compliment those on both sides for doing the job we’re sent up here to do, which is to legislate, to come up with something, to advance solutions, to try to reach agreement where we can.”

The Florida Sheriff’s Association has thrown their support behind the bill, as well.

Another piece of the bill will be part of the hiring and application process for law enforcement officers. Applicants will be required to disclose if they have been a part of an investigation if they are applying to join a different agency. Republicans say these steps will help restore public trust in the police.

“The goal of this part of the bill is to ensure that an officer that is fired for cause isn’t going to another agency,” said bill sponsor Cord Byrd, (R-11).

– – –

Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips. 











Related posts