TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The City of Tallahassee has filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida to dismiss a complaint filed by Taylor Biro, a former member of the city’s Citizen Police Review Board (CPRB).
According to a document filed by the city in federal court Thursday, the city is accepting Biro’s complaint that her First Amendment right to free speech should be denied because Biro made anti-police speeches during CPRB meetings.
The anti-police speech was a sticker on a mug she had that said “abolish the police.”
The city says the speech violated the board of directors’ mission to be impartial on the council and damaged the working relationship and the need for trust between the council and the Tallahassee Police Department.
The city also argues that because Biro was an unpaid council member, the First Amendment does not protect council appointees from being fired by the political body that appointed them.
The city also notes that the First Amendment does not protect Biro from the political consequences of her actions.
In the document, city officials note that the role of the CPRB is to develop and strengthen relationships of trust and respect between the police and the community.
Citing that she recently received and had not fully reviewed the city’s motion to dismiss, Biro’s attorney — Marie Mattox — declined to comment to ABC 27 Friday afternoon on the city’s motion to dismiss.
Mattox said she plans to respond to the city’s petition.
Biro, who in January 2021 was appointed by the city commission as part of the Citizen Police Commission, filed the lawsuit last month on December 13 and the complaint sought $75,000 in punitive damages from the city.
Former CPRB member Taylor Biro is filing a lawsuit against the City of Tallahassee
The Tallahassee City Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 on December 3, 2022 to remove Biro from the Citizens Police Board.