Best Of 2021

Worst reminder that David Straz might’ve been right: Tampa Police’s Crime-Free Housing Program

Tampa Police’s Crime-Free Housing Program

From inside a $1.1 million mausoleum in Tampa’s Myrtle Hill Memorial Park, former Mayoral candidate David Straz is looking at everyone who didn’t vote for him and yelling, “I fuckin’ told you so.” A centerpiece of Straz’s campaign against Tampa’s-then-former police chief centered around Castor overseeing a TPD “Biking While Black” program, which the Department of Justice said unfairly stopped a disproportionate number of Black cyclists (data showed that while Black residents only made up about 40% of estimated bicycle riders during the time, 73% of all bicycle stops were of Black cyclists). And now, a new Tampa Bay Times investigation found that a crime-free housing program that Castor, in part, oversaw while chief flagged 1,100 renters for eviction; 90% were Black, and some arrests—not convictions—were for petty crimes. So, yeah, maybe we should’ve taken Straz more seriously in his run because it sure sucks to think he might have been right all along.