Well, no big surprise here, but City Council passed the Auditor's review
board through today, 5-0. Commissioner Saltzman added a piece which allows
the Independent Police Review (IPR) investigators to ask questions
directly to police. However, they wil still be doing so in the presence of
Internal Affairs (IAD) detectives, who "may repeat the question or order
the officer to answer."
Still dependent on the IAD, we propose to call this the DPR (Dependent
Police Review) or the CPR (Co-dependent police review. (Alan Graf proposed
Placebo Police Review, but that would make it the PPR, like the Copwatch
newsletter.) What's your pleasure? I like DPR because we can call it
"Diaper" or "CPR" because that's what the review baord needs.
Anyway, the Auditor also let it slip that he needed to call other cities
before writing the code language about reviewing shootings and
deaths...which is weird since he visited San Francsisco, where the review
board does independent investigations in these case, and San Jose, which
does reviews. In other words, when he went to those cities, he already
knew he didn't want to review those cases, so he didn't do research on how
to handle them.
Council, nonetheless, lauded Blackmer for his honessty and integrity,
berated the "activists" and "advocates" and "legitimate groups"
(presumably the League of WOmen Voters) who were criticizing the board
instead of coming along and helping make it work.
Whatever happens, people should probably attend the IPR meetings and keep
an eye on the system so we can know its faults inside and out; then when
PAC-2002 gets on the ballot more people can give first hand criticisms of
this new, not-independent, system.
By the way, Diane, Kristian and I all testified, as did Mr Graf,
Darleane Lemley of the League, two members of the East Side Democrats, and
Dora McCrae. There may have been more, I think it was a total of about a
dozen, all saying the new plan wasn't good enough, and then Bob Wells of
the current PIIAC asked for the number of citizens to be raised from 9 to
11. He was ignored, as were the rest of us.
When I repeated my criticism that the Chief is not, the way the code is
written, obligated to accept the Council's finding as final. The City
Attorney announced that the existing language is sufficient--and that was
the end of the discussion.
Well, we can watch the Council be hoist on their own petard.
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