Civilian Review Boards
Civilian Review Boards
For all these many years, I have been a staunch supporter for Civilian Review Boards, and despite all the large of number of deaths, for all these years and at the hands of the multiplicity of police officers that should have never been police officers due to their incomprehensible behavior for a lacking in self-restraint, makes for an easy decision on my part.
And municipal government leaders continue to adamantly oppose these presumptive Civilian Review Boards, and as best as I can determine, this political opposition is in support of police unions since these unions oppose Civilian Review Boards most adamantly.
And in Phoenix, Arizona, the police union took a vote of “no confidence” as to their Chief, and subsequently, the Chief, either resigned or was fired for his insubordination. Consequently, the issue was one for the Chief’s “insubordination” for the reason of the City Manager’s directive that he–the Chief was not to hold a “press conference” on the professional competence of the police department. In short, no “bad press” can be permitted, otherwise, the voters will see the Mayor and City Council members as tools of the police union. And this is the same police union that was at the political forefront in advocating for Arizona’s SB 1070. And this “self-restraint” among police officers is not restricted to Arizona, but does apply nationally.
To wit, Michelle Conlin, writing for Reuters, interviewed 25 African Americans—active duty and retired police officers in New York City and concluded with the following:
Thought One: Police officers have an inherently tough and violent job. Split-second decisions about the use of force come with the territory. Ditto for a decision about who to stop and who to keep an eye on. This makes individual mistakes inevitable, but as a group, police officers deserve our support and respect regardless.
Thought Two: That support shouldn’t be blind.
Conlin reports “that in her group of 25 black officers—24 said they had received rough treatment from other cops. The officers said this included being pulled over for no reason, having their heads slammed against their cars, getting guns brandished in their faces, being thrown into prison vans and experiencing stop and frisks while shopping. The majority of the officers said they had been pulled over multiple times while driving. Five had had guns pulled on them.”
In closing and short of requiring all eligible adults to vote, and in “fixing” our Democracy, these Civilian Review Boards would be a sizable starting point, writ large.