More power approved for Citizens Review Board

More power approved for Citizens Review Board

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by BEN THOMPSON / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Follow: @BenTNews | Email

WCNC.com

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 28 at 10:22 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte City Council Community Relations Committee approved a new ordinance Monday that would give more power to the Citizens Review Board, a group that oversees Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department police officer misconduct. 

The ordinance follows months of public debate, & a task force created by former Mayor Foxx to address the issue.  
 
“I think anytime you go through a process as we have gone through, it's gonna be a better process, there's gonna be improvement," said Greg West, chairman of C.R.B.
 
Even board members have complained that the group didn’t have enough oversight powers, and that the threshold to get a hearing was too high for complainants.   In its 16 year history, the C.R.B. sided with the police department in each the 79 cases that came before it.
 
“Hypothetically a lot more people would be entitled to get hearings, versus the old way of doing business,” said C.R.B. member Alan Adler.
 
Still, citizens who’ve pushed for reform complain the new ordinance doesn’t go far enough.  The C.R.B. still lacks the ability to subpoena an officer to testify in a hearing, and the new ordinance doesn’t give the Board automatic access to CMPD internal affairs records.
 
“It is a little discouraging that it’s not in the ordinance right now,” said Matt Newton, organizer of the group C.R.B. Reform Now.
 
The full City Council was address the ordinance on November 25th.  
 

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