Daley Craig, the Albemarle County resident that initially proposed the creation of a police review board, has simply gone ahead and created it. One would imagine that such a group needs to be formed by the County with extensive citizen input. Craig is apparently not put off by this, as he’s gathered a dozen people together for the group. He intends to go a step beyond what Chief John Miller and Supervisor David Bowerman have planned, by making use of a special grand jury to permit the board to launch full-blown investigations into police. It is unclear where Craig and his board will go from here to make things official. The story is in today’s Progress.
5 thoughts on “Citizen Creates Police Review Board”
So, if this group was just sort ofcreated out of the blue without being assigned any legal power by the county, what can it do? Obviously they can criticize the police force, but can they do anything other than that without the county assigning any power to them?
I don’t think that they can do anything. I assume that their hope is that they’ll form a board that they can then present to the county and demand that they be knighted. Otherwise, we (the public) have to endure the process of the county potentially stacking the board, taking the time to review candidates, and the endless red tape that will no doubt be met along the way. I suppose that this seems more efficient, though hardly open and, therefore, hardly trustworthy, I suspect.
There was an independent “oversight” committee in Olympia, WA that had no government connections; it was comprised of concerned citizens, mostly faculty and students of the Evergreen State College. it started as a group that spoke out against bullying by campus police and grew from there.
they would make their credentials (if any) and methods openly known and all they did was write letters and press releases. That was all they had to do. They did not have any disciplinary power or anything like that, they were primarily focused on organizing information. I think because of that, people were able to take them seriously. It’s easier to listen to an argument when its effect is naturally tempered. Less commitment when you turn out to be wrong, perhaps?
I think it’s valuable for such a group to exist, just to have an organized voice. The cops always catch alot of heat for brutality cases, but not organized heat, not enough to match the organized defense they and the courts can produce. Just a wave of media hype that will always fade.
Obviously this is a considerably different sort of organization from what is proposed here, but an interesting one. I’ll see if I can find anything more about it and will post anything I come up with.
That’s fascinating — they simply assumed the power, and presented themselves as having it, and they had it! I really think that I prefer that system in many ways, largely because the less connected that the board is to the police, the more honest that I think they’ll be. (Perhaps less effective, though perhaps more!)
Thanks for posting about that. I must admit that I’ve done no research on police oversight boards, but now I see that I really should.
What a truly elegant idea!
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