New Florida bill granting protections to officers facing credibility concerns, raising questions

New Florida bill granting protections to officers facing credibility concerns, raising questions

New legislation filed by a Jacksonville State Representative seeks to create more protections for Florida law enforcement officers facing credibility questions.

The bill was filed by State Representative Wyman Duggan (R-Jacksonville) and deals with what is known commonly as ‘Brady Giglio’ lists.

“And what this is, is a list of misbehavior by police officers,” said Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson.

Carson, who has decades of law enforcement experience, said the lists are compiled by prosecutors and contain the names of officers who have done something, like lie or tamper with evidence, that could impact their credibility in a court of law.

“That lack of candor clearly can influence their testimony at a trial,” said Carson.

The new bill establishes due process rights for officers facing placement on a Brady list.

It also gives officers an opportunity to contest a decision to place them on the list.

“A police officer, a correctional officer has never the ability to have input,” said President of the Florida State Fraternal Order of Police Steve Zona, who helped craft the bill.

Zona said the bill simply gives officers a chance to share their side of the story.

“To provide evidence, to provide testimony contrary to the evidence that’s been given to the prosecutor,” said Zona.

But State Representative Angie Nixon (D-Jacksonville) said she has reservations about the bill, fearing it could potentially undermine public confidence in law enforcement.

“We want to make sure that our neighborhoods are safe, but the way that we can do that is to make sure that we have good officers on our streets,” said Nixon.

Carson shared similar concerns.

“If you’ve got one guy who is not telling the truth and is not doing it properly, he puts a stain, an indelible stain, on all the other officers on that squad. So, we don’t want that to happen. So, the more transparent we can be with officers who don’t understand the nature of truth, the better off society is,” said Carson.

But Zona argued nothing in the bill stops an officer from being placed on the list, or an agency from disciplining an officer for an underlying offense.

“We’re not saying they don’t belong on the list. We have to say there are some people who don’t need to be police officers and don’t need to be correctional officers. We’re just saying there needs to be due process,” said Zona.

Action News Jax did reach out to Rep. Duggan for an interview on his bill but didn’t hear back.

We’ll keep trying as the bill makes its way through the legislative process.

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