Attorney Autumn Beck Blackledge has resigned from the Citizens Police Advisory Committee, telling Mayor Grover Robinson that she believes the committee has become “ineffective and frankly, obsessed with the desire to have more power than originally intended and to be an oversight board with power over the Pensacola Police Department.”
She thanked the mayor for the opportunity to serve and was encouraged by the willingness of CPAC members to “engage in very difficult and honest conversations.”
Blackledge wrote that she hopes the new police chief will “continue to be open to learning new things, adopting anti-racist policies and developing a police department that serves the needs of our residents while keeping all of us safe.”
From: Autumn Beck
Sent: Thursday, April 1, 2021 11:28 AM
To: ‘Grover C. Robinson, IV’ <GRobinson@cityofpensacola.com>
I attempted to reach you via phone, but your staff advised me that you are in all day meetings and that it would be better if I emailed you.
I am writing to tender my resignation from the Citizens Police Advisory Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to be included on the committee and I commend you for creating it. The formation of the committee was a progressive move which met a real need after the tragedy in our own community. I believe it could have been instrumental in forming a real partnership between the community and the police as Pensacola continues to grow and improve in the best interests of all citizens.
Unfortunately, I believe the committee became ineffective and frankly, obsessed with the desire to have more power than originally intended and to be an oversight board with power over the Pensacola Police Department. I am hopeful that our new Chief of Police, whomever that may be, will continue to be open to learning new things, adopting anti-racist policies and developing a police department that serves the needs of our residents while keeping all of us safe.
I was encouraged by the willingness of my co-committee members to engage in very difficult and honest conversations in the meetings and their commitment to improving what has historically been a broken relationship between people of color and law enforcement. I was also encouraged by the willingness of Chief Lyter and Acting Chief of Police Christman to listen to the committee for the purpose of understanding and not for defending; it showed a high level of desire to always improve as a Department.
Again, thank you appointing me to the committee; I am grateful for the experience.