HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — An email from Hillsborough County’s newly-appointed state attorney to her staff is creating controversy.
In the email, State Attorney Susan Lopez says, “Any policy put in place that called for presumptive non-enforcement of the laws of Florida is immediately rescinded. This includes the bike stop and pedestrian stop policy.”
The president of the NAACP in Hillsborough County says it’s a policy that unfairly targets African Americans.
“The question is, what are you gaining out of this by constantly arresting people or prosecuting people who are riding a bicycle,” said Yvette Lewis, Hillsborough County NAACP president.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice investigated the city of Tampa for uneven enforcement of minor offenses of people who were riding bikes.
The DOJ study found that 73% of all citations for people riding bikes were given to Black people, while just 26 percent were given to white people.
Lewis says Lopez is returning to this failed policy.
“The question is, what did we do to you to make you feel this way towards us,” said Lewis.