By: Chris Gros
June 19, 2014
Tallahassee, FL - There was more than 100 people in attendance at Thursday's Tallahassee Town Hall Meeting. It was standing room only for a chance to directly speak with Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo.
People voiced their concerns about TPD using deadly force four times in less than two months. They did so to Chief DeLeo, City Commissioner Andrew Gillum and City Manager Anita Favors-Thompson.
"I love the fact that people said what was on their heart, said what was on their mind and we certainly walked away with some sense of where we need to go. I like that our officials were very transparent. They didn't hide behind any policies and they didn't hide behind any rules," said New Birth Tabernacle Pastor Rudy Ferguson.
Chief DeLeo took the time to explain each instance of officer involved shootings and even spoke directly to the mother of Jacoby Hart who was the suspect shot by officers in Sunday’s shooting at Club Pierre. It’s something DeLeo believes is ultimately his job.
"The Tallahassee police department is their department it's not my department. I get to represent the agency in public, I get to help steer it in a direction. But ultimately we have to be able to listen to the public hear their concerns and needs and be able to address them," said Chief DeLeo.
City leaders hope the discussion leads to improvements in the community, especially now when Tallahassee is averaging five instances of gun violence each week.
"I think what's important now is where do we go from here how do we take tonight's comments, tonight's concerns and come up with a community plan that works for all of us," said City Commissioner Andrew Gillum.
Pastor Ferguson plans to hold another meeting soon. This time it will be without city officials so the community can address how they can prevent gun violence in South Side, Tallahassee.