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Tallahassee students rally against political repression, demand Community Police Accountability Council

By staff |
November 25, 2020
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Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) protests political repression.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) protests political repression. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Tallahassee, FL – On November 19, students from the Tallahassee chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held a rally in front of the Westcott building on the Florida State University campus to demand community and student control of the Florida State University Police Department (FSUPD) and that the charges against the Tally19 be dropped. The students called for an end to political repression and that FSUPD be held accountable to the community and student body they police.

Students spoke about the increasing budget of both the Tallahassee Police Department and FSUPD as well as the lack of accountability to the community and student body at large. Students also demanded justice for the Tally19, a group of protesters who were arrested on September 5 during a rally to demand justice for those who have been impacted by police brutality. These protesters were arrested by a group of approximately 300 police officers clad in riot gear and many are currently facing charges.

Katherine Draken, member of Tallahassee SDS, said in her speech, “The police will never hold each other accountable, we need an independent board that can hold them accountable and demand real justice for the victims of police violence, that’s the purpose of a CPAC.”

Anthony Suarez, vice president of Tallahassee SDS, also spoke about the lack of police accountability, “When police murder someone they occasionally spend a few months on leave and then go right back to their jobs. We saw this with Lawrence Revell who murdered George “Nuke” William in 1996 and is now the TPD police chief, we also saw this with Zackri Jones, who murdered Mychael Johnson, who promptly went right back to work after committing murder.”

Students continued to speak about other cases of police brutality in Tallahassee and the U.S., ending the rally with a call for students and community members to get involved with local organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society or the Tallahassee Community Action Committee to continue the struggle against police repression and violence.