City Council limits who can appeal to police review board

Amendment follows complaint by California resident about SWAT raid
Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | 6:29 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Appeals of complaints to the Citizens Police Review Board are now  limited to alleged victims, their family, friends or attorneys, witnesses of alleged misconduct, and any resident of Boone County.

In a unanimous decision, the Columbia City Council voted Monday to amend the previously ambiguous law allowing anyone to file an appeal with the Citizens Police Review Board. The intent is to eliminate appeals from people outside the community.

Before the vote, several residents in a public hearing raised concerns including potential limitations of checks on police power and the prematurity of the amendment.

Eric Dearmont of the Columbia Police Officers Association voiced his organization’s appreciation of the amendment, but said he worried about the provision allowing any Columbia resident to file an appeal.

“We view the fourth prong to be a little expansive yet,” Dearmont said.

The amendment originally permitted only an alleged victim, his or her family, or Columbia residents to file an appeal. Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill, however, suggested attaching an amendment allowing alleged victims’ friends, attorneys and Boone County residents the ability to file an appeal. 

“This is a proactive attempt to fix something that’s probably a flaw in the ordinance,” Thornhill said.

The amendment to the current ordinance was filed after Ed Rosenthal, a marijuana legislation reform activist from California, filed a complaint in response to the Feb. 11 SWAT raid.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


tom kelly August 20, 2010 | 5:58 p.m.

The Review Board was a nice, noble thought, but probably useless. If a person has to wait four months for the initial review to get to the Chief who vetoes everything, and then it can take a year for the Review Board to make a decision, which hasn't made any so far, what chance has a person got with a complaint?

...or was that the whole idea?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 20, 2010 | 11:37 p.m.

The board is just starting off and there's some growing pains figuring out processes and such, so I say give it a little time before thinking it's junk.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.