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Pheonix considers civilian board to tackle police brutality

Recently, Phoenix city council has been discussing various oversight options in response to growing complaints about excessive force from local law enforcement. A proposal tabled by the mayor suggests the implementation of a civilian review board to audit allegations of police brutality and misconduct. Should the proposal move forward, the legal response to such allegations may change in the city of Phoenix.

The mayor suggested in a statement that a civilian oversight board has long been discussed and requested by community members. This is the first time a measure such as this has been on a city council agenda. It is joined by another proposal, submitted by a council members, who suggests an alternative type of a civilian review board that would have more power and impact in a variety of situations.

Activists engaged in the matter have spoken out about the fact that of the 10 largest cities in the United States, Phoenix is the only one without a formal civilian review board. The council will need to discuss many aspects of such a board before instituting one, including what types of people will serve on the review board, how community input will be selected and costs. Prior to these discussions, the council will need to vote on which framework, if any, it would prefer to use for a board between the two proposals.

Council members have expressed differing views about police brutality and civilian oversight in the past. Some say more extreme measures are needed, while others have been quoted as saying they do not see problems with police behavior as an issue in the city. Those who have dealt with police brutality and wish to explore their legal options should find a lawyer in Phoenix that understands local and state laws and remedies.

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