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Civilian Review Panels


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  • Civilian Review Panels

    I live and work in Broward County Fl. (Fort Lauderdale area) Anyways in Dade County (Miami) there was recently a police shooting where a county officer shot a 21 year old black male. The B/M was in a stolen car who according to witnesses just struck the officer who was on foot and was trying to run the officer over. (obvious deadly force situation to me) But this incident sparked a great debate within the City of Miami on creating a civilian investigative panel. (Which passed overwhelmingly on referundum by the voters) The panel is supposed to investigate police misconduct in addition to the IA and possible criminal investigation. OK, the problem as I see it. The Panel has no authority. How does "Garrity" or "Miranda" come into play? What can they solve if they cannot discipline and what officer would answer their questions? If they do answer, what could happen? It is a city investigation, so my guess, garrity applies so any criminal case gets blown and worse if they violate garrity then the admin case gets blown too. The ACLU and NAACP are strong supporters of this panel. An ACLU lawyer blasted the state attorney and US attorney who volunteered to give legal guidance. The Miami-Dade has a reputation of prosecuting cops, which is why I stopped working in Dade. (smells like a witchhunt to me)

    The Chief and the Police Department are not in the clear either. The Chief opposes this board. It is a sad day when the citizens think so little of the Police Department, they need to police it. I think the answer is better leadership and a different philosophy of policing.

    I am not opposed to citizens checking on us. I am an honest cop, so I dont care one way or the other.

    I would like the opinion of civilians and cops alike on this issue

  • #2
    I'm avoiding the issue you brought up but in my one experience with a civilian review board (my shooting) I found the civilians to be more fair and unbiased than some of the cops. My board had five cops and two civilians. With two of the cops it was quite clear that personal grudges were coming into play. The civilians didn't know me and I had a clean slate with them.


    • #3

      Quit ****ing off your co-workers!!

      JUST KIDDING!!!!! No Flames please. I was f-ing with him, OKAY??????

      PS Please tell me you don't drink Bud
      "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final"--Bill Jordan


      • #4
        I have never sat through one, and hope I never do.

        I'm not trying to sound cocky or arrogant here, but this is honestly how I feel.

        If I were hauled in front of a citizen review board in which I knew I was gonna be tarred and feathered I would probably give the "You sleep good at night because of people like me" speech.

        I am more comfortable with the notion of other cops, even an IA cop, investigating my shooting.


        • #5
          I am compiling opinions of how people feel toward police. So far most of the opinions are negative, and some are downright ignorant. Most people that are not police officers don't have any idea what being police is like.

          One guy actually told me in person that it made him very mad that the last guy to give him a ticket was smiling. He said they don't have to give someone a ticket, and when they do they should not enjoy it. I asked him if he liked his job and he said usually he did, and I asked him why police should not like their job? He just said it was wrong. I asked him if he ever voted and he said no. So I told him the thing about who makes the laws and stuff. Maybe I got throught to him.

          So I would not want to be a police officer facing a civilian review because most of us haven't got a clue. You should have shot him in the leg.

          [ 01-26-2002: Message edited by: MikeTx ]


          • #6
            Three years ago, we had an incident where four off duty white police officers were involved in an altercation with a black male.

            A fight broke out. One officer was knocked out, the others sustained minor injuries. The b/m had no injuries reported. The b/m in question is a career criminal, who is constantly in trouble.

            All four officers were indicted on simple battery charges, with the senior officer being found guilty. The other 3 officers were allowed back at work, and the fourth was fired, but later rehired when the decision was overturned by the police and fire civil service board.

            Anyway, because of the incident, a civilian review board was formed to investigate "all" city employees of wrongdoing. However, by law, they have no real investigating power, and can't discpline people. They can only advise the mayor and city council of what they think.

            So in my opinion, the civil review board that we have is a joke and serves no real purpose.
            Attitude is a reflection of leadership.


            • #7
              Objectivity and fairness, with a complete understanding of the job, community, laws, etc, is necessary to review a controversial action by a police officer,

              If this cannot be provided "in house," then a respected neighboring jurisdiction could review/recommend and report to the community.

              Citizens should get involved if the overall performance of government is deficient, and elect more professional/responsible/responsive people.



              • #8
                A few cops I've spoken to don't like civilian review boards because they thought they were biased in FAVOR of the cops ... the opinion was essentially that civilians were willing to let cops get away with more then other cops would.

                This was up in Baltimore/DC, BTW.


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