Phoenix joins US cities eyeing civilian oversight for police

PHOENIX (AP) — Still stinging from a confrontation this summer where officers pointed guns and cursed at a black family, residents and officials in Phoenix have held talks to offer ideas on how civilians could help oversee the police.

The country’s fifth-largest city is among the last big cities without any independent civilian oversight of officers.

Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Denver and Portland, Oregon, are among many cities with some kind of citizen oversight following police killings of black men and others.

Police Chief Jeri Williams and other Phoenix officials are moving toward adopting some kind of independent civilian oversight of police and are visiting communities this month to review their models.

The police union adamantly opposes any civilian oversight, saying it’s a “bad idea” for people unfamiliar with the law to make independent recommendations about police.

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