Orange County implements new citizen task force

The task force is aimed at police reform accountability

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida lawmaker is announcing a new citizen task force aimed at police reform accountability in Orange County.

State Representative Bruce Antone initiated the formation of the group, which is made up of religious leaders, activists, former deputies and Orlando Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford.

"We are here as a voice for the community," Antone said. "We are specifically focused on policy and procedure dealing with how law enforcement polices the community."

Antone said the group was started after recent events across the country sparked a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The goal of the task force is to work towards action to discourage misconduct by law enforcement.

"As concerned citizens, we are advocating for dialogue to be exchanged about policies and practices of law enforcement," Pastor Willie Barnes said. "It is a proactive attempt to bring resolve to the problems of our culture."

The announcement came two days after an Orlando Police workshop reaffirmed the city's policy against chokeholds and introduced a ban on no-knock warrants. Antone said those actions were steps in the right direction, but he would like to see the dialogue continue between law enforcement and the community.

“I applaud Chief Rolon for his recommendation to do away with the chokeholds and the no-knock warrants,” he said.

Members of the task force said plans are still in the very early stages, but listening sessions will happen over the next several weeks with law enforcement.

The group also plans to attend city council meetings and gather input and data from the community.

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