The Source: Disagreement Arises Over Who Sits On Review Board
The Citizen Advisory Action Committee is a key part of the discipline process for San Antonio police officers. It's members review the evidence in all internal affairs complaints and - if needed - recommends disciplinary action to the police chief.
But who gets to sit on this board?
Speaking on the Source on Tuesday LaJuana Chambers - a San Antonio community organizer connected to the Black Lives Matters movement - said the 14 board is made up of 7 police officers and 7 community members approved of by the Police Chief, The City Manager and the Police Union -and because of that it's inherently sympathetic to the police over the community.
"We need to take another step and actually make sure that these folks are actual - you know - regular people that we all know and actually have some sort of capacity to influence decisions."
However, Detective Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, said the board is appointed by the city council and is part of a strong objective citizen driven mechanism that oversees the police force.
"Those folks are chosen by the community by council folks. they are put into those positions by council. we have absolutely no say-so on who sits on that committee."
So who is right? Turns out they both are.
According to the proposed contract posted on the City of San Antonio Website - the members of the advisory board are appointed by the city council from a list provided by the city managers office, with names recommended by the police chief.
The police association also has input and can make recommendations. Many critics say that puts pressure on council members to appoint people who would be acceptable to the police association.
- LaJuana Chambers, works for American GI Forum, author, folklorist and activist
- Nehemiah O'Neal, community activist originally from San Antonio's Eastside
- Dr. Mary Kaye Johnson, clinical psychologist, advocate for underserved communities
- Johnathan-David Jones, community activist founder of The Concrete Movement
- Mike Helle, President of the San Antonio Police Officers Association