CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After Saturday’s fatal shooting of an unarmed 24-year-old man by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer, groups are calling for more CMPD oversight.
The Citizens Review Board is an independent group that oversees complaints filed against the police department. The 11 members are appointed by the mayor, city manager, and city council. Recently, the board has been under fire for its lack of oversight and power.
A Charlotte Observer investigation earlier this year found the board held only four hearings in its 15 years, and never ruled against the department.
“We're hoping that this incident of Saturday can be a flashpoint,” said Matt Newtown, spokesman for Citizens Review Board Reform Now.
Groups like the ACLU and Citizens Review Board Reform Now claim changes to the board could’ve made a difference in Saturday’s outcome.
“We feel as though a stronger Citizens Review Board could've prevented something like that from happening, could've weeded out that particular cowboy. And that didn't happen, “ said Newton.
Officer Randall Kerrick was arrested and charged with the voluntary manslaughter of Jonathan Ferrell.
Citizens Review Board Reform Now has called for more transparency, a lower standard of review, and subpoena powers for the CRB.
Supporters of change have met with City Council over recent months about updating city policy regarding the CRB.
“We feel like we have been working tirelessly for 8 months to see to it that an incident like that would not occur,” said Newton.
Council is currently considering adjustments to policy.