Police reforms seek to increase police accountability, halt racial bias

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – County leaders are forging ahead with reforms aimed at increasing police transparency and ending racially biased policing in communities of color.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors signed off on three proposals. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher introduced three proposals to increase police accountability and promote practices that can lead to better relations between community members and police.

In one proposal, the county would set up a Mobile Crisis Response Team for the homeless and mentally ill.

This unit would shift the response from police officers to a team of mental health clinicians who might handle a crisis differently without the use of force.

The second proposal would create an office of equity and racial justice, giving communities of color a bigger voice in setting policies and budget priorities.

The third proposal would give more teeth to an oversight group called the Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board, CLERB, for short.

Under the changes approved by the supervisors, that body would have broader authority to look into incidents involving the use of a weapon or the use of force resulting in a major injury, without having to receive a citizen’s complaint first.

“We’re beefing up what they do, giving them more independence, more autonomy, more authority and more funding to provide that oversight,” Fletcher said.

We spoke to the head of one of the advocacy groups that is in support of the reforms.

Al Abdallah, the Chief Operating Officer of the Urban League of San Diego County said an honest reckoning of our problems offers the best hope for change.

“It’s about results. It’s not about hollow talk. It’s now, where do we go from here?” Abdallah said.

Categories: Local San Diego News