In at least 120 cities, civilian review boards address situations where police are otherwise left investigating fellow officers, reports the Charleston (WVA) Gazette. “So much of this movement is to increase the confidence in police. If I’m doing my job as an oversight agency, then that should be consistent with the objectives of the police,” said Philip Eure, president of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement and director of the District of Columbia Office of Complaints — Washington’s police civilian review board.
Of the 20 largest U.S. cities, only three do not have some type of civilian review of police. In one of those — Jacksonville, Fl. — community leaders are pushing to have one put in place. Frank Crabtree, director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Charleston, said in recent controversial West Virginia cases, a civilian review board could go a long way to satisfying public curiosity about what happened. It could provide a level of police accountability not now found in West Virginia, he said.