Infighting and controversy have ironically stricken the Broward County Commission on the eve of an exception being made to the County Administrative Code allowing commissioners to permanently name the new Ceremonial Courtroom in honor of the very much alive Jack Tuter.
Both Mark Bogen, seen here in the comments section posing gleefully with Tuter and Mike Satz, and his colleague, Steve Geller, have come out strongly against the actions of a third commissioner, Dale Holness, to honor Kodak Black via proclamation for his extensive and well-documented charitable efforts.
From the article:
The proclamation lists several of Black’s contributions, including college costs for the three children of two FBI agents killed in a raid in Sunrise; funeral costs of a South Carolina police officer; and $100,000 to Nova Southeastern University’s law school in memory of Meadow Pollack, who was killed in the Parkland high school shooting in 2018.
“Our commission needs to honor people who have done things that are special and worthy of being honored,” said County Commissioner Mark Bogen. “I do not believe Mr. Black is worthy of that honor. Based on his past criminal conduct, this is not a man we should be honoring.” …
Holness signed the proclamation as the mayor of Broward, a title he had until November, when the one-year term ended. …
By signing the document “claiming to be mayor when he’s not, it’s very troubling any person would sign a document purporting to have a title when the person doesn’t have that title,” Bogen said. …
“What I have read about Kodak Black, I wouldn’t have signed my name to a proclamation,” Geller said.
Brad Cohen, Kodak’s lawyer, who spoke to us this morning, was not happy to hear about Bogen and Geller’s comments. Brad pointed out Kodak’s charitable good works started when he was fifteen years of age, and go much deeper than the ones mentioned in the Sun Sentinel, many having been made anonymously.
“The kid has done so much charity work that it puts other people to shame,” Cohen said.
Later in the day, after the news had sunk in, Cohen authored the following strongly worded post to Twitter:
So there you have it. Racially charged squabbling over honoring an undeniable homegrown minority hero to countless local, national, and international young people, a day before the Commission marches in lockstep to name a prestigious courtroom for a sitting caucasian judge. The timing is instructive, and indicative of much larger problems.
There are, of course, legions of deceased Broward leaders of all backgrounds and professions who took courageous and dangerous stands in the civil rights movement and in other areas, including combat in defense of our nation. Certainly no exception would need to be made for any of these exceptional people, and in a county known for systemic racism in the criminal justice system, where exceptions are only bestowed upon the wealthy or politically powerful, one shouldn’t be given now.
Jack Tuter should take heed and refuse the honor. Despite his achievements, he should pave the way for a more symbolic crusader for change. While Bogen and Geller, in the midst of the Black Lives Matter era, may still be ill-advised and ignorant of the miles Broward needs to travel to shed the shackles of mass incarceration, as evidenced by their objections to a mere proclamation, Tuter is not. The chief judge and those below him understand the ongoing challenges, as would anyone who bothers to take a moment and observe the make-up of the individuals populating circuit court criminal dockets. If the most stubborn problems cannot by their very nature be fixed quickly, powerful symbolic opportunities can and should be capitalized on immediately when rare occasions, such as the naming of the Ceremonial Courtroom, present themselves.
County Commission meeting tomorrow …