It’s clear many law enforcement higher ups, elected officials and members of communities across the nation want change within their respective police agencies. Transparency and accountability are two of the areas which seem to be the hotbed of discussion now, as more police involved shootings are occurring across America. What isn’t clear, and really not even a part of the discussion, are the criminals themselves, and how accountability relates to them. Why is it police need “fixing” and the communities with the biggest stakes do not? 

Hundreds of young black men are being killed in wars within their own neighborhoods, whether by gang members, drug dealers, or as a result of disputes only solved by violence. There aren’t marches of protest between mothers of those killed and mothers of their killers. There aren’t rallies demanding fathers take accountability of those they brought into this world. Black on black killings seems to be readily acceptable as a fate that just occurs because of poor gun laws. 

Fake outrage driven by false narratives, perpetuated by the left and its media, and funded by those who want to drastically alter, and destroy America are a major part of the equation. Rage and cries of racism only seems to surface when a white police officer shoots a member of the black community. Never mind facts  and circumstances. This is why the formation of a community oversight board in Nashville TN needs much more work and more input by cooler heads. The current coalition making demands isn’t about justice, it’s a witch hunt for revenge. Fire the officer and charge him with murder! Yet no mention the subject had a gun and should have followed the officers direction to drop it. 

Newly elected Mayor Briley seems non-committal only to say if the referendum to implement a community oversight board fails, he will issue an executive order irregardless. So what will this board accomplish, what powers should it have and who is funding it? 

On the Community Oversight Nashville’s website is the proposed legislation in which there are several interesting points, with the first one being no law enforcement, retired or active, or elected officials are eligible to serve. The oversight of a police department certainly does require someone with knowledge of standard operating procedures, penal law, and criminal procedure law. So much for being inclusive. 

The purpose of this board is to have the right to investigate citizen complaints of misconduct by Metro Nashville Police employees, and make recommendations to the Office of Professional Accountability on discipline. If the board believes a criminal act has occurred, they may refer the matter to the Grand Jury, for their investigation and indictment if appropriate,

The majority of Community Oversight boards, or Civilian Review Boards across the country, are similar and have proven effective, in accordance with the laws and rules of their respective agencies. Most members of these boards have been able to remain unbiased, and reasonable, after receiving facts and circumstances,  and coming to fair conclusions to recommend disciplinary actions. 

Where an oversight committee becomes overreach is the expectancy they have the rights to information and evidence, which includes records, recordings and trainings on pending criminal cases. In order to preserve the rights of everyone involved in a criminal or civil case, those items should remain private and only  those involved..law enforcement, judges, lawyers and defendants should be privy to that data.

As with any American in any case, whether civil or criminal, if found not guilty,the case is over. By requiring an officer be mandated to accept any of the aforementioned, is to insinuate their guilt.  

Again, as in any case where there is the possibility to be charged criminally or to be disciplined because of alleged misconduct, a defendant has the right to face their accuser. Complaints made anonymously can be erroneous, and are unable to be verified. Facts and evidence are crucial to a fair outcome, not allegations based on verbal, nameless, accusations. 

These are just two examples of why boards created out of anger, by disenfranchised and disgruntled community members will not be effective. Police officers have rights just as the defendants or complainants in the case do.  The formation of a group like this to make recommendations outlined in this proposal is redundant, as the steps are already in place. If an officer is found to have committed a crime, it is handed over to the District Attorney for presentation before a Grand Jury. Civil rights are forwarded to the appropriate level attorney generals, and If misconduct is found, disciplinary action is taken by the police department. 

While leaders and community members may not agree or be happy with an outcome, there is no guarantee the community will be accepting of the findings of the Community Oversight board either. As we have seen in video after video, there is a cry for instant street justice. Fire the officer! Charge them with murder!  No justice no peace. 

Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Up next: Who is paying for the Community Oversight Board?

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