Orlando Police Seek Apology For City Commissioner’s Remarks

Mark Schlueb, Orlando Sentinel, June 20, 2006

Angry Orlando cops demanded an apology from Commissioner Daisy Lynum on Tuesday, saying she insulted the department by saying her son was a victim of racial profiling who might have been shot by a “white boy” officer.

“Our police officers are justifiably angered by the comment, ‘I just didn’t want some white boy shooting my son or tasing him,’“ said Jeff Williams, president of the Fraternal Order of Police labor union, which represents about 600 Orlando officers. “It is not acceptable for any elected official to make comments that are biased or racially motivated.”

But Lynum, who is black, insisted she has nothing for which to apologize. She stood by her remark to the Orlando Sentinel for an article about a traffic stop last month involving her son, County Commission candidate Juan Lynum.

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“I don’t want anybody harming my son, white or black. But I was dealing with a white officer,” Lynum said. “It wasn’t meant to inflame. That is how I talk and I don’t plan to change.”

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Chief McCoy himself sent the commissioner a letter Tuesday, saying her comments hurt the department’s morale and created “a managerial problem.” Lynum shot back with her own letter, pointing out that she doesn’t work for him and saying his letter was inappropriate.

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Far from backing away from her statements about police profiling, Lynum said Tuesday she plans to send letters to black churches in the area, asking pastors to encourage members to develop their own “action plan” in case a family member is stopped by police.

“This whole thing started from someone stopping a black man at 1 o’clock in the morning in a community that has had incidents of racial profiling and thinking it’s OK to not tell him why he was stopped,” Lynum said. “It’s become such a racist, white or black thing that it’s out of control.”

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