With the screams of joy barely gone from The Super Bowl, the mayor had to call a hastily-put-together meeting of the gay Business Enhancement Committee , City officials, the press, and the police after a tourist noted two policemen beating a handcuffed man, called 911, and then was beaten himself (and arrested on an obvious absurd charge of breaking into a dozen cars). Nothing makes this city cringed than bad press, especially about tourists being badly handled by police. The officers were pulled off active duty, both men released and charges dismissed, but the news made it finally into The New York Times, the ACLU filed a lawsuit, and suddenly the mob grabbed their pitchforks and the mayor announced that before anything, "We shall talk".
The Chief of Police announced to the group that he was immediately taking two steps:
Detective Juan Sanchez, the department's spokesman who is gay, is now liaison to the committee.
Capt. Jennifer Elmor, a lesbian, will become head of Internal Affairs. She succeeds Capt. James Hyde, who is retiring.
With the gargantuan Winter Party weeks away there must be a lot of nail-biting because nothing would make Ft. Lauderdale happier than to grab the major part of that event.
You can give someone power and they may be decent or nasty, but the real problem lies with the fact that the vast majority of municipal employees live way out in the suburbs and can not relate to Beach, it's parties, and it's tourists. The mayor lives here, the commission does; they all HAVE to live here. This is so sad; when you see the town filled to capacity like last week and don't hear of any problems, except about police beating two gay men. And, in this case "bad press" is not "good press". (That's good, old Thomas Barker in the cap, by the way.)