Meeting set on police review board proposal in Montgomery

Selma police car

As officials in Alabama’s capital city mull a proposal to form a citizen review board to help oversee city police — an idea pushed in the wake of the police custody death of George Floyd — some are worried about whether that board will have enough authority.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said in a news release that a Tuesday night meeting in Montgomery is being hosted by “a coalition of community organizers, nonprofit organizations, and other community stakeholders.” The Montgomery Advertiser reports that the SPLC release said community groups have expressed several concerns about the proposal. They include the limited authority of the board and who selects the members.

Tuesday night’s meeting at Montgomery’s Connecting Life Center, will provide a chance for people to hear more about the proposal and share concerns, the newspaper reported.

A draft proposal was submitted to the Montgomery City Council by Mayor Steven Reed last month. That was the result of weeks of discussions with community leaders after Floyd’s police custody death in Minneapolis.

That initial plan included 13 members serving five-year terms. One would be from each council district, with four more appointed by the mayor. It called for the board to meet at least twice a month to make budget, policy, disciplinary, and community relations recommendations.

Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley and Reed would have final say on any actions recommended by the board.

The plan is under review by the City Council’s public safety committee.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.