Miami-Dade Commissioners on Tuesday voted 9-4 in favor of a panel of civilians to investigate complaints about police.
The item was voted on at Tuesday's meeting and will get a second reading at the commission's next meeting.
MORE ON THE REVIEW PANEL
The measure is one of the items protesters and activists have been calling for in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The county had a review panel until 2009, when the commission stripped its funding during the budget crunch caused by the 2008 recession. In 2018, it almost returned but was vetoed by current Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. He said at the time he would only support a panel appointed by the Board of County Commissioners and not community organizations.
The new measure calls for a 13-member panel appointed by county commissioners. It would allow the panel to subpoena witnesses, documents and other potential evidence, then submit a report to the mayor, commissioners and police director.
There are some hurdles in place that could limit any subpoena power put in county ordinances. The state Supreme Court in 2017 declared the Miami civilian review panel’s subpoena power to be unconstitutional. Without it, they cannot compel officers to cooperate with an investigation. The court ruled subpoenaing officers violate a statute in Florida law known as the Police Bill of Rights.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said she supports the idea.
"And while the vast majority of officers are good, honest and hard-working people, who place their lives on the line for us each and every day, there are some who are not worthy of carrying the badge," she said.
Click here to read the complete independent review panel legislative item