Marco Island Council may pass resolution supporting its police amid nationwide protests
Marco Island City Council may approve on Wednesday a resolution supporting its police department amid nationwide protests against police violence.
Thousands of protests took place across U.S. after George Floyd, a Black man, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis in May and have reignited after Jacob Blake, another Black man, was shot in the back seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin last month.
Blake's attorney said he is alive but paralyzed from the waist down, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Aug. 25.
City Councilor Victor Rios said he proposed the resolution because the Marco Island Police Department keeps residents safe.
"With what's going on in the country, we need to send a message that our police department cares about its citizens, it's doing its job and we are supporting them 100%."
When asked what he meant by "what's going on around the country," Rios said he was referring to the instances where protests against police violence have become violent.
Rios said the resolution is not against any person or group.
"This is a positive message," he said. "It's not criticizing or condemning anything."
The resolution does not directly reference these protests but rather states that "every day law enforcement officers throughout the nation face the threat of violence and danger, routinely putting their lives in jeopardy to defend others."
It also commends recent "changes in policy and policing" within MIPD including the use of the anti-opioid drug Narcan, "the enhancement of professional development opportunities and the pursuit of agency-wide accreditation."
Taliya M. Denham, a Chicago resident who said was staying with family on the island, was charged with attempted robbery by sudden snatching, a felony, after police found she grabbed or hit a smartphone from the hands of a man who was recording a protest in front of the Marco Island police station on June 3.
Police charged Steven W. Peterson, a Marco resident, for open carrying a semi-automatic assault rifle, a misdemeanor, near the protest march.
A report commissioned by the city concluded Marco Island police officers did not use excessive force while arresting Denham.
The city hired Police Chief Tracy L. Frazzano last year to replace former Chief Al Schettino after he was forced to retire following multiple incidents like officers having sex on duty and the continuing employment of an officer who the state attorney’s office deemed not credible to be called as a witness in a criminal trial, reporter Devan Patel with the Naples Daily News reported June 19.
The next City Council meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 9.