Over the past few months, Hallandale Beach City Commissioner Keith London has been in touch with New Times to express his concern about the number and frequency of police and fire department responses involving the personal activities of Mayor Joy Cooper and her family.
We have obtained a number of police reports, many of them supplied by London after he submitted both public-records requests and "commissioner requests" for information about Cooper, including a matrix of all police incidents at her home on Holiday Drive over the past decade.
Cooper insists the dissemination of this information by London is simply dirty politics, a way of dragging the discourse through the mud -- "Don't bring my family into this" are her words to London.
She directed us to a commission meeting on January 5, when she says she called out London for bringing these reports into play. We're getting a copy of those minutes. She said if we're interested in playing the police-report game, "Commissioner London was arrested in 1995 -- you might want to look that up." All we found in Broward County were a few traffic infractions.
Meanwhile, London claims he's working on behalf of the taxpayers. "Residents have said to me, 'Why are we paying for [the mayor's] dysfunctional family? Why do we have to referee their fights?'"
Below, see one such "fight": allegations of verbal hostility from Cooper's son Matt, 19, who piloted his dad's red BMW into another vehicle at a gas pump before words were had.
This all happened back in December. The narrative report of the incident (see below) is a solid two pages long. Allegedly: Cooper was parked at the Mobil Station on Federal Highway in Hallandale Beach. Stephen Baker pulled his 1996 Honda behind the BMW. When Cooper backed up to leave, he bumped into Baker's vehicle. Baker got out of the car, looked at the damage, and agreed with Cooper that the damage was too minimal to merit a police report. Both say they agreed not to take further action.
Baker left the car and went into the Mobil station, but his passenger, Niki Floyd, stayed behind and talked to Cooper, which developed into "a verbal bantering back and forth which included derogatory and insulting comments." The mayor's son drove away, and Floyd called 911 to report the argument.
When officers arrived, Floyd said that Cooper had told her, "My mother is the mayor; I'll spit all over your kids."
Police followed up on her report, eventually sending an officer to the mayor's house to get more information. A family member told Matt that the police had been looking for him, and he responded to the police station the next day. Both he and Baker repeated that they didn't want to file a report. Baker signed a waiver of prosecution.
The report concludes that "it is apparent that Matt Cooper was at fault for any damage resulting in the crash," but since both parties agreed not to report, Cooper "should not be held accountable for actions that were generated by Niki Floyd who was a passenger in Baker's vehicle after he left the scene."
But thanks to Niki Floyd's report and Commissioner London's off-the-clock muckraking, there's a great new quote on the books down in Hallandale Beach.
Cooper Hit and Run File 020311-001
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