Orlando PD Reviewing How Cop Accused of Excessive Force, Racism Won Its Annual Award
Orlando’s police department is reviewing how its office came to award its 2018 Patrol Officer of the Year prize to an employee accused of excessive force and racism just a few years prior. Officer Jonathan Mills won the honor in February, one year after he was reassigned from an elite tactical squad because he made a disparaging remark to a black woman about her hair and berated citizens about their homes, the Orlando Sentinel reports. And in 2017, Mills faced two lawsuits alleging he used excessive force on suspects. Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said Tuesday he’s reviewing the award-selection process amid a backlash. Caila Coleman, the vice President of the Orlando Citizens Police Review Board, said she was “taken aback” when she heard about Mills’ “blatant racism” and expressed disdain with his new award: “I would like to believe there are other officers who were better qualified to receive such a prestigious title.” In 2016, a body camera captured Mills, who is white, telling a black woman: “That hairdo is sad. You’ve got to get your hair done, girl.” According to the police department, Mills received his award for being “the most proactive member of his squad” and a motivator to fellow officers.