San Diego’s Citizens’ Advisory Board met to discuss creation of independent police oversight panel
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Many police departments around the nation are taking a hard look at how they police communities of color.
In San Diego, community groups met Wednesday to talk about police reform in the first of two meetings this week.
San Diego’s C.A.B., short for Citizens’Advisory Board was called into emergency session to talk about ways to de-escalate conflict and improve relations between community members and the San Diego Police Department.
Police Chief David Nisleit was supposed to participate, but hours before the meeting began, the department indicated he could not attend.
Genevieve Jones-Wright, the legal director for a community group called “PANA” was looking forward to hearing from Chief Nisleit. Like other community members, she has been interested in the creation of an independent citizens commission that would have more power to examine department policies and allegations of misconduct.
Jones-Wright said the current structure, which uses a a community review board, called the C.R.B. is too limited in its powers and has to rely on documents supplied by internal affairs. The Board is also appointed by the Mayor, creating an independent body would allow it to function free of political influence by the Mayor or City Attorney.
Jones-Wright said the commission would also have its own legal counsel and the power to subpoena, so it could gather its own evidence from documents, witnesses, and officers to investigate allegations of misconduct.
“When you put teeth in a commission like that, you really do give it strength, and power and agency and that’s what this is all about – community agency, that will force accountability,” Jones-Wright said.