TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The city of Tallahassee filed a motion with the U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida to dismiss a complaint by Taylor Biro, a former member of the city’s Citizens Police Review Board (CPRB).
According to the document filed by the city in federal court Thursday, the city notes Biro’s complaint that her first amendment right to free speech should be dismissed because Biro displayed an anti-police speech while at CPRB meetings.
The anti-police speech was a sticker on a cup she possessed that said, “abolish police”.
The city claims that the speech violated the board’s mission of unbiased individuals on the board and damaged the working relationship and need for trust between the board and the Tallahassee Police Department.
The city also claims that since Biro was an unpaid member of the board, the first amendment does not protect appointees to the board from removal by the political body that appointed them.
The city also notes the first amendment does not shelter Biro from the political consequences of her actions.
The city notes in the document the role of the CPRB is to foster and enhance a relationship of trust and respect between the police department and the community.
Citing recently receiving and not fully reviewing the city’s motion to dismiss, Biro’s attorney - Marie Mattox - declined to comment Friday afternoon to ABC 27 on the city’s motion to dismiss.
Mattox did note that she plans to respond to the city’s motion.
Biro, who was appointed to the Citizens Police Review Board Jan. 2021 by the city commission, filed the lawsuit last month on Dec. 13 and in the complaint requested payment of $75,000 in damages from the city.
The city of Tallahassee board of commissioners voted on Dec. 7, 2022 by a 3 to 2 vote to have Biro removed from the Citizens Police Review Board.