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Tallahassee police officer plants evidence, community fights back

By Tavish Bryan

Cavon Riley speaks against the injustice dealt to his father at the press conference held by TCAC and FRSO. | Fight Back! News/staff

Tallahassee FL – On Wednesday, April 10 people held a press conference outside City Hall and rallied the community in defense of Calvin Riley – a Black man jailed for DUI despite body camera footage showing Tallahassee Police Department officer Kiersten Oliver planting evidence in his vehicle.

The event was organized by Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC) and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). With members of Riley’s family in attendance, the press conference opened with three demands from Delilah Pierre, the president of TCAC.

Pierre demanded that Judge Jason Jones drop the charges on Calvin Riley; the city commission create a resolution condemning TPD’s statement condoning Kiersten Oliver's actions; and that Kiersten Oliver resign and be held accountable for her unlawful behavior.

The youngest son of Calvin Riley, Cavon Riley, was the first family member to speak out at a press conference.

“That ‘nobody’ they thought they were playing with, is a somebody,” Cavon Riley’s voice rang out. “The police are supposed to be our strength at times of weakness, but in my father's case, they were the weakness that tried to wither his strength. Well, they didn’t break anything!”

“We've seen time and time again that the police do not protect us,” said Regina Joseph of FRSO. “and that they only exist to protect the privileged few of Tallahassee.”

Dalphnie Riley, Calvin Riley’s wife, closed the press conference, saying of her husband, “He has more integrity in his one finger, in his one pinky, than the whole police department! Calvin Riley, he means something – not to just his family, but to Tallahassee!”

At the city commission meeting, TCAC and FRSO members brought attention to the blatant fraud and abuse committed by officer Oliver and denounced statements by killer cop and Chief of Police Lawrence Revell, who denied any wrongdoing by Oliver.

They called out Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox for her attacks on the Citizens Police Review Board, commented on the connection city commission members have to police unions and called for the Citizens Police Review Board to reconvene immediately to discuss Riley’s case. Each member demanded Officer Oliver’s resignation and decried the blatant injustice done to Riley, while restating the demands made earlier at the press conference.

The meeting ended with statements of concern about Riley’s case from Commissioners Jacqueline Porter and Jeremey Matlow.

“I was disturbed by what I saw. I was disturbed by the response from our chief. I’m disturbed by the singling out of my colleague [Commissioner Matlow]” said Porter.

The remaining three members of the commission remained silent on the issue.

TCAC and FRSO plan to rally with the family of Riley to maintain the pressure on the city commission and Judge Jones.

To stay up to date on further actions from FRSO and TCAC follow @frso_tally and @tallycac on Instagram.

#TallahasseeFL #FL #InJusticeSystem #PoliceBrutality #TCAC #FRSO