City Council To Vote On Revisions To Citizens Review Board

Jun 26, 2017

Charlotte City Council members Monday night will consider proposed changes for the Citizens Review Board. It was formed in 1997 to give the public a way of appealing disciplinary decisions involving the actions of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers.  

Proposed changes to the board, recommended by the City Council's Community Safety Committee, include barring current or former CMPD or city employees from serving on the panel. The revisions call for a process to interview  prospective appointees to the citizens board, who would also be required to undergo eight hours of training, which could include a 'ride-along' with a police officer.

The citizens board is authorized to review cases that involve an officer killing or injuring someone with a firearm. The panel may also consider CMPD disciplinary rulings for officers who've been accused of unbecoming conduct, making an unauthorized arrest, or engaging in arbitrary profiling.

Earlier this month, family members asked the citizens board to review CMPD's decision not to discipline officer Brentley Vinson for last September's fatal shooting of Keith Scott. 

Some citizen advocates say the proposed changes to the board's membership requirements don't go far enough. A group called SAFE Coalition NC wants the City to require training on implicit bias for Citizens Review Board members, and to make a police ride-along mandatory for appointees to the panel.  

Note: Monday night's City Council agenda also includes a scheduled vote on repealing Charlotte's extraordinary events ordinance.  The measure gives police more authority to screen people during large public gatherings. Council members passed the ordinance in 2012 before Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention.  Since then, City officials have declared more than 40 extraordinary events.