South Florida SWAT team steps down after police chief kneels with protesters

Florida SWAT team steps down after police chief kneels with protesters

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Ten members of a South Florida police department’s SWAT team stepped down from their roles, citing several grievances that included the Hallandale Beach police chief kneeling with protesters earlier this week.

The 10 members will remain with the police force, the Miami Herald reported.

The SWAT team sent a memo detailing its grievances to Hallandale Beach city officials, and City Manager Greg Chavarria said it was received Friday evening, the newspaper reported.

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The SWAT detail cited “today’s political climate” and “several recent local events,” for its collective decision, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The team members told Police Chief Sonia Quiñones that the last straw was when members of the Command Staff took a knee in solidarity, WPLG reported.

“Having members of the Command Staff taking a knee in solidarity with Vice Mayor Sabrina Javellana ... this lack of support is crippling,” the memo said. “The risk of carrying out our duties is no longer acceptable to us and our families."

Team members also wrote that Javellena “has shown that she takes pleasure in besmirching the hard work and dedication of the members of this professional agency, having the gall to compare us to the Minneapolis Police Department."

Javellana told the Sun-Sentinel she was shocked to learn about the letter while she was grocery shopping on Friday night. But she said she does not regret attending the protest.

Quiñones has set up a Monday meeting with the SWAT team members to hear their concerns amd collect their equipment, the Herald reported.

Hallandale Beach Police Chief Sonia Quinones and other officers kneeled with protesters earlier this week.
Hallandale Beach Police Chief Sonia Quinones and other officers kneeled with protesters earlier this week. (City of Hallandale Beach)