I don’t deny the historical significance of Florida’s new Governor appointing a Black man to be Sheriff of Broward County. The new Sheriff is Gregory Tony and his history would have had an even greater impact if we had elected him or any Black man or woman to the Office of Sheriff. The appointment has to be considered a legacy yet … Some may argue that reasoning is short sighted but I don’t believe so.
The new Sheriff is probably a good man but I do not know. And that is the problem, I don’t know the new Sheriff. Nor do most of you. His appointment to the office means if he is beholding to anyone, it’s not to any of us. From what others are saying, he is connected to the Stoneman Douglas Parents Group. Their influence is obvious and substantial. But they clearly understand something most in our community do not. They understand that we are all part of a power group system and you have to be part of a power group to get accomplishment of your goals. Or attention paid to your concerns. They learned that political pressure cannot be intermittent. They learned it has to be unrelenting. There is a lesson for us to learn from this and I really hope we learn it.
Some are questioning why the Governor, who at his disposal a large pool of experienced Black Law Enforcement professionals in Broward County, would select someone who had never been in a command position before. The Broward Sheriff’s Office is an agency of over 5,000 people. That may be a steep learning curve. Yet we have to hope for his success.
How well he does will impact our community, our political future and his political future.
Politics is of course, things are where they are today. Not just in the Broward Sheriff’s Office but in the State of Florida and in this country. We have to ask ourselves what is we could have done more of or done less of that we did not get the results we want in the places we wanted. And in those cases where we did (Dr. Snipes for example and Sheriff Israel) our votes are being made irrelevant.
Many if the Black community have considered Sheriff Scott Israel a friend to our community. As a result many of us are protesting his suspension on grounds of “incompetence.” Or any grounds for that matter.
Sheriff Israel says he will challenge his suspension legally and politically. He still intends to run for re-election in 2020.