Tallahassee , FL – On November 13, the Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC) led a march to the headquarters of the Tallahassee Police Department calling for the resignation of police chief Lawrence Revell as well as City Manager Reese Goad. Revell recently spoke at a religious retreat for law enforcement executives hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a known anti-LGBTQIA+ group that has made claims such as “trans activists are in league with ‘many homosexuals’ and are ‘propagandizing, grooming, and mutilating children.’”
Organizations including the Dream Defenders, Planned Parenthood, Florida Coalition For Trans Liberation(FC4TL), Florida Rising and Black Voters Matter issued statements or spoke in support of the removal of Revell and a real response to Revell’s attendance at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) conference from the city manager and city commissioners.
Despite Revell’s claims that he was there as an individual, he appeared in his official uniform and spoke almost exclusively about his role as chief of Tallahassee Police Department. Revell violated the separation of church and state by using his position and title to suggest officers should be Christian, saying “What is it that you want for the men and women that serve your community every day? Hopefully at the very top of that list is for them to know Jesus Christ as their lord and savior.”
TCAC’s president and the district organizer for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Regina Joseph, spoke about Revell’s conduct and pledged to fight for his removal as chief of the Tallahassee Police Department. “We’re gonna make sure that Lawrence Revell is out. And that whoever supports him is out. Until my very last breath, I will fight to make sure these murderous, racist, homophobic cops are out of our community.”
Others spoke not just of LGBTQ+ discrimination but also the racism and profiling they see every day in their own lives. Isabela Casanova, a member of Students for a Democratic Society, pointed out the militarization of the police at their school. “Do you know how fucking sad it is that I walk through the hallways that I work in and the Black and brown kids in my class are afraid of the school police officer? Who is walking through an elementary school fully armed and for what?”
In addition to Revell’s participation in BGEA conference, he was also involved in the death of Tallahassee resident George “Lil Nuke” Williams in 1996, a crime which he was never held accountable for.
TCAC is also demanding the removal of City Manager Reese Goad. He appointed Revell to his position of police chief in 2019 in a completely undemocratic process and is unwilling to hold him accountable.
Speakers reiterated the need for a Community Police Accountability Council (CPAC) and a People’s Budget.