URBANA – The Urbana Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB) has been under the scrutiny since Urbana Police Officers beat an innocent 21-year-old African American woman (read more here) on April 10th, 2020.
Even before concerned residents started scrutinizing the civilian complaint and appeals process, I had first-hand experience of submitting a police complaint. Going through the process alerted me to many shortcomings of how the CPRB was functioning.
I spoke at the Urbana City Council meeting on May 4th, 2020 about the problems with the CPRB and complaint process (you can hear me speak in the video below).
Some of the issues brought up were their infrequent meetings, absences of board members/city staff, board members not having access to submitted complaints, gate-keeping by City staff, and failure of the board to follow mandates of their own ordinance.
In the months ahead, a group from Stopping Police Violence CU worked on a petition containing recommendations to improve civilian oversight of the police. The petition was submitted to the Mayor, City Council, and the CPRB on June 23rd. The petition was also published on change.org and has over one hundred signatures.