‘I completely disagree:’ CPRB chairman pushes back on effort to oust member

In a statement released Sunday afternoon, Tallahassee CPRB Chairman Edward Gaines said he did not agree with calls to oust a member of the board.
Published: Nov. 20, 2022 at 5:07 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The chairman of the Tallahassee Citizens Police Review Board is taking a firm stance against calls to remove a member of the committee tasked with reviewing police policy.

Chairman Edward Gaines shared a statement with WCTV Sunday in response to a push by the Police Benevolent Association to remove CPRB member Taylor Biro.

“I’d like to say that I completely disagree with that request and will continue to support Ms. Biro’s important role on the Board,” Gaines wrote.

“Also, as Board Chairman, I do not condone the use of any offensive language toward Tallahassee’s Police Officers nor towards any law enforcement group.”

On Monday, Biro confirmed with WCTV that the sticker contained the words “abolish police” and provided this message:

”I’m thankful to have the support of Chairman Gaines. Under his leadership, our board we have made room for diverse perspectives and meaningful recommendations. And anyone who is still curious about my sticker, I urge you to learn from Mariam Kaba about what Police abolition actually means and how it’s healing communities around the country. "

The PBA Big Bend Chapter alleged Biro attended a board meeting with a mug that contained “a vitriolic anti-police message.”

In an October city commission meeting, Commissioner Diane Williams-Cox noted tat she believed the message was ‘F the police.’

In his statement, Gaines tried to clear the air.

“I have never seen Board Member Taylor Biro display a cup with the words ‘F*** The Police’ or any paraphernalia that would be considered offensive to our police officers of Tallahassee.” he wrote.

Gaines said Biro showed him the mug which had the message ‘Abolish Police Brutality’ written on it.

“I will continue to support her as a CPRB Board Member,” he wrote.

“I consider this matter now closed and a non-issue.”

In a statement to WCTV, Biro previously denied that the mug contained profanity.

Read the full statement from Edward Gaines below:

“After reading and hearing several news reports regarding Florida PBA Big Bend Chapter’s calling for the ‘immediate removal’ of Board Member Taylor Biro from Tallahassee’s Citizen Police Review Board, I’d like to say that I completely disagree with that request and will continue to support Ms. Biro’s important role on the Board. Also, as Board Chairman, I do not condone the use of any offensive language toward Tallahassee’s Police Officers nor towards any law enforcement group.

I have never seen Board Member Taylor Biro display a cup with the words ‘F*** The Police’ or any paraphernalia that would be considered offensive to our police officers of Tallahassee. On October 12, 2022, after I presented the 2021 Annual Report to the City Commission, Ms. Biro and I met briefly with Chief Revell to discuss the ‘cup issue.’ Board Member Biro assured me and the Chief that her cup did not say ‘F*** The Police,’ but rather ‘Abolish Police Brutality’–where she showed us the actual cup. Additionally, I am not aware of any other Board Members witnessing Ms. Biro attending any of the Board’s monthly meetings over the past two years with a cup bearing this offensive language.

Again, I am not aware of Ms. Biro ever bringing this cup to a CPRB Board Meeting and displaying the offensive language in question and I will continue to support her as a CPRB Board Member. As Chairman, I find this type of language offensive and understand how it can be perceived as a bias toward police officers. Also, under my leadership that type (or any kind) of offensive language displayed while representing CPRB would be immediately addressed. Further, at this point, I consider this matter now closed and a non-issue.

Finally, prior to joining CPRB, all Board Members attest to being unbiased and remaining neutral when making change recommendations to TPD’s policies and procedures. Additionally, as Chairman, I appreciate the different perspectives that each Board Member brings to CPRB—diversity of thought, experiences, backgrounds, etc. And that’s what makes CPRB a balanced representation of the Tallahassee community that we serve.”