Coral Springs Residents, Youth Organizers and Activists Respond to Dismissive Commissioners During Most Recent Commission Meeting
Amidst the cases of police brutality and other forms of systemic racism that have finally come to the forefront of the media during the past few months, several activists, organizers and people living in the Coral Springs and Parkland community, and across Broward County are mobilizing in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. These protests are normalizing conversations and demands around Defunding the Police locally and nationally. In this regard, it was imperative for past and current MSD Students as well as Coral Springs residents to voice valid concerns at the July 15th commission meeting. This is just one of several tactics the local group is implementing to build long term power to Defund the Coral Springs Police Department as well as end systemic racism.
Strong public comments of blatant disregard for the safety of Black and brown people within the community were voiced at the commission meeting and those statements, for the most part, were invalidated. In response to the grievances expressed, Coral Springs Commissioners continued to negate community members’ experiences by suggesting that police brutality is not an issue within Coral Springs. During the meeting, instances of police using a less than lethal shotgun to detain a suicidal person was mentioned as good police work. This practice is one of many forms of police brutality, which further escalates situations, and has caused an even greater distrust of police within communities. The community felt that although concerns were clearly expressed, the commission did not listen nor understand.
For many of the participants, this was their first time making a public comment at a commission meeting. The groups are hopeful to see this trend of protesting and putting pressure on Elected Officials to continue. The groups are calling upon the commissioners to allocate an increase of funding toward mental health resources like the CAHOOTS program in Eugene Oregon, education, and after school programs for marginalized youth, in order to reduce crime and instances of police brutality, making our community safer for everyone.
- Acknowledgement of victims and survivors locally of police brutality and provide justice to them in the form of jobs that pay a livable wage, affordable housing, healthcare, education and free public transportation.
- An increase in the allocation of funds toward investing in mental health resources (CAHOOTS), after school programs, education, housing, jobs and healthcare.
The alliance of groups are committed to continuing to protest, meet with elected officials one-on-one, speak commission meetings and implement a variety of tactics until demands are met.