Calls to re-examine Citizens Review Board concerning complaints - | WBTV Charlotte

Calls to re-examine Citizens Review Board concerning complaints against police


Three years after reform, the Citizens Review Board, which handles complaints against police, is once again the topic of change by community activists in light of the recent shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott by a police officer.

The shooting sparked protests and prompted police to release partial dash cam and body cam video, which traditionally hasn’t been released in such investigations.

The Board was created in 1997 after three unarmed African-Americans were killed by white police officers. The board acts as an advisory panel to the city leaders and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

The Board may hear complaints about use of force, profiling, and arrests or seizures. It came under scrutiny in 2013 after a report by The Charlotte Observer detailed how in 79 cases, the Board had never ruled in favor of a citizen.

One of the main complaints against the Board has been the difficultly citizens faced in getting a hearing and information to support their complaint.
Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles said last week that she supports examining procedures and structure of the board; as well as more visibility in the Board’s outcomes and complaints. The city requires annual reports to be given to City Council, the City Manager, and Chief of Police.

WBTV has requested several reports, but has not yet received copies.

Robert Dawkins, a community activist with SAFE Coalition NC is also requesting City Council add further reform to its legislative agenda next year. Dawkins wants to see the Board obtain subpoena power and investigative power when it comes to police complaints. He wants disciplinary authority added as well.

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