Residents push for citizens review board over police shootings

Residents push for citizens review board over police shootings

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

After the shooting death of an 18-year-old in Ferguson Missouri by a police officer, Birmingham community activists are again pushing for a citizens review board over all police related shootings.

Such efforts failed in the past.

On Tuesday, community activist Frank Matthews with the Outcast Voters League asked the Birmingham City Council to get behind the citizens review board.

A bill mandating such a board died in the past in the state legislature. State Representative Allen Treadaway, a Birmingham Police sergeant, killed it because he called the bill flawed.

Matthews says this time he is seeking a petition drive for an initiative and referendum, to force the city council to accept such an ordinance and to have police officers to wear cameras to record their activities.

"If you had that in a place like Ferguson you would have had a different set of eyes to see something and the could have brought another calm to what's going on up there," Matthews said.

Treadaway believes police shootings are already heavily reviewed.

"There is no profession in the country that is reviewed or has as many layers of review than a police officer when involved in a shooting," Treadaway said.

Treadaway said he is open to a review board if it includes experts. He also supports the idea of body cameras.

Matthews wants the city council public safety committee to take up both proposals in the near future.

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