Councilwoman’s comment against Davie Police creates uproar

DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Davie councilwoman’s controversial comment aimed against police officials is leaving law enforcers offended, and now she’s sharing her side of the story.

The incident stems from the Davie Orange Blossom parade that was held a few weeks ago, where, according to Davie Police, they were just blocking traffic to keep festival-goers safe.

“Sometimes you can’t fix stupid,” said Councilwoman Susan Starkey during a town hall meeting while discussing the incident that involved her attempts to arrive at the festivities with Davie Mayor Judy Paul.

The parade, one of the town’s biggest events, was celebrating its 80th year in 2017. Paul and Starkey were on hand for all the festivities, but Paul said they almost didn’t make it. “My driver had to drive around for 45 minutes, and nobody would let him through,” she said.

Police closed off Davie Road that morning and said the logistical plans were discussed with Davie officials on the council. “At 9 a.m., the roadway was shut down, and at that point, there was a lot of pedestrian traffic in the roadway,” said Mark Leone, president of the Davie Fraternal Order of Police. “They were late. They were sent to an alternate route.”

Paul, however, said they were on time. “My driver got there right at 9 o’clock, or a few minutes before,” she said. “Everything was closed.”

Starkey was sitting to the left of the mayor during the town hall meeting. Surveillance video inside the town hall only captured Paul, but you can still hear what she had to say about the ordeal.

“He’s just driving the mayor,” Starkey said.

Paul then continued with what she said happened. “And he kept saying, ‘I’m taking the mayor,’ and they said, ‘Doesn’t matter. It’s closed. You can’t go in.'”

That’s when Starkey made the comment that upset the police union and police officers.

She later said her remark was misunderstood. “It wasn’t meant at any individual. Anybody who was at the council meeting would’ve known that it was talking about how stupid the situation was, not any individual,” Starkey said. “It was more about the logistics of the parade itself.”

Leone said he doesn’t buy it. “It’s obvious, and it’s clear that she was speaking about the police officers, the police department,” he said.

Starkey later told 7News that she always supported the police and did not intend to insult anyone. “To us, that was a stupid situation that we will fix going forward,” she said. “It’s a logistical problem.”

The FOP president said that the officers were just doing their job. “Members of the Davie Police Department are committed to serving and securing the safety of the community, and that’s what we were doing that day,” Leone said.

According to the police union, Starkey’s comments were offensive to all 40 officers who were working overtime that day for the festival in order to make sure residents were safe. They said they have not received an apology from Starkey.

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