South Florida SWAT Team Resigns After Police Chief Kneels With Protesters

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

HALLANDALE BEACH — Ten members of a South Florida police department’s SWAT team stepped down from their roles, citing kneeling by the Hallandale Beach police chief among the reasons for their resignation.

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 officers stated that they were “minimally equipped, under-trained and often times restrained by the politicization of our tactics to the extent of placing the safety of dogs over the safety of the team members.”

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.

“Until these conditions and sentiments are rectified and addressed, we cannot safely, effectively and in good faith carry out duties in this capacity without putting ourselves and our families at this needless increased level of risk,” the officers added.

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.

The 10 members will remain with the police force, the Miami Herald reported. Quiñones has set up a Monday meeting with the SWAT team members to hear their concerns and collect their equipment.

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