Former St. Louis City police officer to discuss citizen review boards

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 | 9:07 p.m. CDT; updated 9:04 a.m. CDT, Saturday, June 28, 2008

COLUMBIA — A former St. Louis police officer will be in Columbia on Thursday to share with two groups his “wealth of experience” on the formation of civilian review boards, said Dan Viets, general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union Mid-Missouri Chapter.

Redditt Hudson, now racial justice director in the ACLU’s St. Louis office, will first speak at 5:30 p.m. at the Mid-Missouri ACLU’s annual membership meeting at The Blue Note. Hudson then plans to speak during the second public hearing of the city’s Citizen Oversight Committee at 7 p.m. at Oakland Junior High School.

The ACLU event is free and open to the public, Viets said. The invitation has also been extended to City Council members, Citizen Oversight Committee members and Columbia police administrators, including Police Chief Randy Boehm.

The Citizen Oversight Committee, appointed by Mayor Darwin Hindman, is in the process of studying the need for a citizen board to review the Police Department in Columbia. It will make a recommendation on the issue to the City Council in August.

Viets said it’s important for the community to have faith in the city to objectively deal with complaints of police misconduct.

“We don’t see (a citizen review board) as a replacement, it’s a complement to the internal review process,” he said.

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