City council president won't act on council members traffic stop behavior

Council rules do not give president authority, says Lopez Brosche

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4Jax has learned that the Jacksonville city council president will not take any action against two fellow members for their behavior during a controversial police stop caught on a body camera.

In September, the I-team uncovered footage that showed councilman Reggie Gaffney being questioned by police for stolen license tags and council member Katrina Brown, who stopped as well, calling the incident racial profiling.

Since then, Gaffney apologized to police and the council while Brown announced she did nothing wrong.

JSO concluded that Gaffney had made a mistake in filling a stolen tag report, and no charges were filed. 

Council President Anna Lopez Brosche sent out a memo saying she’s not taking any action against Brown or Gaffney. In the memo, it says she really has no power to do anything about their behavior outside a meeting.

The confrontation caught on a police body camera set a string of complaints and concerns into motion. During a city council meeting, when Gaffney apologized for his behavior and Brown stood firm saying she did nothing wrong, Lopez Brosche said she was going to ask for help on what to do next.

"I have asked for guidance from the General Counsel. Once that information is available, this body will be available to determine an appropriate course of action," Lopez Brosche said.

City attorneys sent Lopez Brosche a memo outlining her options on disciplining member for actions outside of meetings.

In response, Lopez Brosche sent this to members:

"Council Rules are silent as to the city councils ability to censure (or discipline) a member."

The memo goes on to say other rules provide the option of censuring a member which would involve filing legislation.

"That would involve the entire council deliberating the matter. I am not advancing censure legislation."

READ: The memo from General Council to Council president  

Memo from Council President Lopez Brosche to council

She went on to say the council president has no authority greater than that of any individual member.

That does not mean this case is closed.  News4Jax is checking with the state and local ethic board to see if complaints are being investigated. By law, board members cannot even talk about that publicly.

The president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Steve Zona, has been an outspoken critic of Brown's behavior. He said he has filed a complaint. No word yet from him on whether an action has been taken. We have reached out again today to council members Brown and Gaffney.

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