A South Florida elected official and candidate for Miami-Dade mayor is under fire after posting a controversial photo on Twitter of protestors holding a sign with the slogan “ACAB,” which is slang for “All Cops are Bad.” Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava posted the image on her twitter account while calling for “greater accountability” between the community and local police force in the wake of nationwide protests, riots and looting after the murder of George Floyd.
The South Florida Police Benevolent Association demanded that Cava issue “an immediate apology and retraction of [her] offensive and reprehensible tweet” and describe it as “emblematic of [her] insensitivity” to South Florida’s law enforcement community.
Miami-Dade police union objects to tweet from mayoral candidate @DLCAVA for using image that includes anti-police slogan. She supports police oversight panel the union opposes. pic.twitter.com/B1yuPcVpC2
— Doug Hanks (@doug_hanks) June 3, 2020
Cava eventually deleted the post from Twitter and said in a letter of her own that she was not aware that the acronym was offensive to police.
But the incident underscores a significant disconnect between Cava and South Florida law enforcement officers who see Cava attempting to capitalize on the rapidly evolving political forces mobilizing in the wake of Floyd’s murder. Her quick embrace of protesters whose motivations she does not fully understand raises significant concerns for law enforcement officers.
“It is a slap in the face of every police officer in this county,” wrote Steadman Stahl, president of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association, “who have conducted themselves as consummate professionals and in an exemplary manner.”
While the protests began as a rallying cry against police brutality in Minnesota led by the Black Lives Matter movement, much of the momentum behind the rallies has since been coopted by radical activists across the political spectrum, all with diverse political motives. Some of the protest leaders are now pushing to defund police departments in major metropolitan areas, including South Florida. In a protest march organized in Fort Lauderdale this week, a group comprised of Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Socialists of America openly admit that their primary goal is to defund police departments:
[Protest organizer Tifanny] Burks says in the past, the group demanded police departments have de-escalation and implicit bias training. However, those efforts were unsuccessful, and now the organizers hope to defund police departments.
Cava subsequently posted several new tweets directed at the South Florida police union, claiming to support the “good officers” who risk their lives for the community.
“I also appreciate we must work together to ensure we have the trust of our community to ensure justice and public safety for all our residents” Cava posted on Twitter. “I remain hopeful that you share in that commitment and will join the police chiefs in embracing sensible solutions for the greater good.”
It is unclear how Cava defines the “sensible solutions” she mentioned in the social media post. Neither Cava nor her staff immediately replied to a question asking if she supports the “Defund the Police” movement.