Charlottesville Police Civilian Review Board

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The Charlottesville Police Civilian Review Board (CRB) is an oversight body for the Charlottesville Police Department.

"At present, the CRB does not have the authority to initiate or review complaints against the police. The CRB is, in fact, in the process of researching and developing the most effective way to provide civilian oversight of the police department, including the review of civilian complaints against police officers. Currently, the only way to file a complaint against a Police officer is through the Police Department directly. The CRB encourages anyone who has experienced or witnessed perceived police misconduct to file a complaint with the Police Department."[1]

By Resolution approved on December 18, 2017, the City Council authorize the creation of an initial Police Civilian Review Board (“Board”) composed of eight members to be appointed by the Council to a one-year term. The initial Board was tasked with drafting bylaws and defining the Board’s proposed mission.[2]

Defining the Board’s proposed mission

The initial Board was tasked by the Council with defining the Board’s proposed mission.[3]

Drafting bylaws

By Resolution, the Council tasked the initial Police Civilian Review Board (CRB) with drafting bylaws, which were to address matters including:[4]

  • Defining the CRB's proposed mission;
  • Proposing CRB membership, including number of members, representation, membership criteria and length of term;
  • Researching, documenting and incorporating best practices for independent civilian review boards, including but not limited to working with such groups as the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE);
  • Creating guidelines or a Memorandum of Understanding for effectively interacting with the Chief of Police;
  • Defining an effective and cooperative structure for CRB review of police actions;
  • Developing procedures for reviewing police matters, including but not limited to investigative detention reports, use-of-force incidents, and internal affairs appeals;
  • Implementing mechanisms for reporting out findings, including a quarterly report delivered to Council;
  • Seeking input from the City Attorney, Commonwealth’s Attorney, and the Chief of Police as to whether or not special enabling legislation and ordinances are required, and to ensure legal constraints, liability concerns, and privacy issues are properly addressed;
  • Providing appropriate CRB member training; and
  • Recommending level of City staff support for the CRB.

Funding

The Council will reserve $2,500 from the Council Strategic Initiatives Fund for the operating costs of the initial Board, including community outreach events, with expenditures approved by the City Manager.[5]

Members

By vote at their June 4, 2018 and July 2, 2018 meetings, Council appointed the following community members to the eight member Police Civilian Review Board (CRB):[6]

  1. Gloria Beard;
  2. Josh Bowers, University of Virginia law professor
  3. Sarah Burke, criminal defense investigator and mitigation specialist
  4. Don Gathers, activist
  5. Juan Gonzalez, attorney
  6. Rosia Parker, activist
  7. Katrina Turner, activist
  8. Guillermo Ubilla, artist and community volunteer

[7]

Board meetings

The Police Civilian Review Board (CRB) meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month starting at 6:30 p.m. The locations for the meeting varies from month to month.

Ninth member?

At their meeting on August 28, 2018, the group discussed whether they should ask Council to appoint a ninth member, presumably attorney and activist Jeff Fogel. [8]


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