CMPD review panel rules against citizens -- every time

By Gary L. Wright and Fred Clasen-Kelly
Feb. 18, 2013

Since it was established 15 years ago to look into allegations of police misconduct, Charlotte’s Citizens Review Board has always sided with police.

It’s not surprising citizens have never won: The board has no independent power to investigate, and citizens must meet an unusually high standard of evidence for the board to even hold a formal hearing.

Instead, the 11-member, volunteer board has met behind closed doors – first with citizens, then with police – and voted to dismiss almost every case.

Family members of five men shot to death by police were denied full hearings to present what they viewed as evidence of misconduct. Their cases were tossed out, too.

The board has held only four hearings for citizens who complained about police behavior. After the hearings, the board members ruled in favor of the officers accused of misconduct.

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