Birmingham Sets Up Civilian Board to Review Police Misconduct

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The five-member board will have the authority to investigate citizen complaints and will have some subpoena powers to aid those investigations.

Mayor Randall Woodfin announced Monday morning the creation of a Civilian Review Board to investigate claims of misconduct by the Birmingham Police Department.

The five-member board will have the authority to investigate citizen complaints and will have some subpoena powers to aid those investigations, Woodfin said. The board will not have purview over complaints referred to the District Attorney’s Office, the Jefferson County Personnel Board or the BPD’s Internal Affairs Division.

After a 30-day investigation, the board will submit its findings and recommendations to the police chief.

The concept of the Civilian Review Board was developed by the city’s Public Safety Task Force.

The announcement comes after several incidents of police-involved shootings in Birmingham, including the Jan. 21 death of Euli Malik Kater Jr. and the April 4 death of Desmon Montez Ray Jr.

Woodfin, however, placed the creation of the board within a broader, national context.

“Today, as we stand here, one year removed from the worldwide outrage over the death of George Floyd, and currently with names like Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright weighing so heavily over our minds and our souls, we know what we must do,” he said.

Woodfin said the idea behind creating the board was to “build immediate trust with the citizens we serve.” He said the board would provide “a very authentic community voice to policing in our city.”

“This task force puts moms and dads, faith leaders and community activists, young professionals and more at the same table as our police force,” he said.

The five-member board will include the Rev. Lawrence Conoway, activist T. Marie King, former BPD Chief Annetta Nunn, lawyer Victor Revill and former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. Revill and Vance both are also members of the Public Safety Task Force.

The board will begin accepting public complaints in early July.

 

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