Heard On Sundial: Broward Sheriff On Police Brutality, DeSantis’ Supreme Court, Arts During COVID-19
On this Wednesday, June 3, episode of Sundial:
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony On Police Brutality
Despite the bad weather, protests continued in South Florida over the death of George Floyd on Tuesday. They remained peaceful and were smaller than protests in previous days.
More details have emerged about the events that took place at some protests over the weekend which, in some cases, did become violent.
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The Miami Herald reported that one protester was sent to the Intensive Care Unit after her skull was cracked by a rubber foam bullet in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.
In Miami, a WSVN social media producer was arrested and charged while covering the protests over the weekend. He’s been released and those charges have since been dropped.
Many questions have been raised about law enforcement’s conduct during these demonstrations and what actions should be taken if things get out of hand.
“I have personally been the guy on the ground, unjustly, with the knee on his neck. I know what it feels like to gasp for air and hope for mercy from people who have been sworn to protect you,” said Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony. “And so I understand the discriminatory practices that exist within the criminal justice system, not just law enforcement.”
We spoke with Tony about the recent protests over police brutality and law enforcement’s relationship with communities of color.
Gov. DeSantis’ Dream Supreme Court
Governor Ron DeSantis recently appointed two new justices to the state Supreme Court, both are from South Florida. Justice Renatha Francis, from the Palm Beach County Circuit Court, is the first woman of Jamaican descent on the state’s high court. And John Couriel is with the Miami based firm Kobre & Kim. His father emigrated from Cuba as part of Operation Pedro Pan back in the 1960s. These two picks will reshape the court for decades.
“I think you’re going to see an immediate push for more anti-abortion laws,” said Steve Contorno, a political editor with the Tampa Bay Times. “Redistricting is sure to come up this next 10 years as the census numbers come in, so that’s another one, and then the issue over whether taxpayer money should go to pay for private schools.”
We spoke with Contorno about how the impact of the governor’s decision to appoint these new justices and an update on Florida becoming the potential future home of the Republican National Convention.
Arts During The Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has shut down art venues. But that doesn’t mean that South Florida artists have slowed down. Many are bringing these experiences to their audiences virtually — through social media and live-streamed events.
“As an artist, as an arts organization, if you don’t have people in that theater what are you going to do,” said WLRN morning anchor Christine DiMattei. “It’s not only a matter of ticket sales, it’s a matter of just staying connected with your audience.”
DiMattei has been profiling these artists and their creative projects in a new series called Intermission. She spoke with our engagement editor Katie Lepri about the series.