After the Tampa police chief told a packed Citizen Review Board last night that “it was sad that George Floyd had to get murdered before anyone would come to these meetings,” multiple protests are now planned calling for Mayor Jane Castor to remove Brian Dugan from duty.
A “Dugan, You Are Done” protest, organized by the Black Collective Movement, is planned for Wednesday, June 24, at 5 p.m. in Curtis Hixon Park. The inspiration for this protest seems to directly stem from Dugan’s “George Floyd” comments at last night’s meeting, as well as reports that he only briefly spoke and thumbed through his phone while presenters confronted him.
“Dugan left after a 3 minute speech, we were asked to hear him out and we would have the opportunity to ask questions,” reads an Instagram post from the group. “His 3 mins provided nothing of substance other than a community advisory board that we have to apply to. We are tired of Chief Dugan not holding himself or his Department accountable for their actions on the citizens they’re supposed to serve.”
This is how Tampa's police chief opened his appearance at tonight's Citizen Review Board meeting. He left shortly after. pic.twitter.com/9morR8j4i3— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 24, 2020
Another protest calling for Castor to remove Dugan is planned for Saturday, June 27, at 4 p.m. at 702 S. Albany Ave. It’s unclear exactly who the organizers are for this protest, but the event was posted in the Tampa Bay Rising Facebook group, which has been a central hub for local Black Lives Matter events.
“We the community of Tampa Bay call upon Mayor Jane Castor to release Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan from his station as police chief and officer,” says the post, “on account of his brutal leadership directing officers to commit acts of violence and excessive force on peaceful protesters.”
On a somewhat related note, this Saturday, Thaddeus Bullard, also known as WWE star Titus O’Neil, and actor Dave Bautista are set to lead a ‘Love Walk’ across Tampa’s Fortune Taylor Bridge—formerly the Laurel Street Bridge—starting at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Over the past week, Dugan has faced increased pressure to step down and/or to even acknowledge that his department needs reform.
On Monday, Dugan held a press conference where he reiterated that his officers will still help the “hypocrites” and protesters if they called 911, he also called upon the “good people” to defend his job.
Earlier this week, a spokeswoman for the Tampa Police Department defended the agency’s decision to release the personal information, including phone number and address, of a local woman who filmed a police officer pointing a gun at her car.
Last week, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor held a press conference on local police reform, and Dugan was not present.
Mayor Castor’s office has not returned Creative Loafing Tampa Bay’s request for comment regarding the Dugan situation.
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