CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Nearly two years after it was created, Charlottesville’s Police Civilian Review Board (PCRB) met for the first time - virtually.
The inaugural meeting comes at a critical time where discussions on the role of policing have taken center stage.
“With all that is going on across the nation, I see there is a dire need for this to be in place,” said Board member Dorenda Johnson.
One of the first decisions the board made was choosing James Watson to be the chairperson.
“I’ve got two Brown sons that are growing up in this world - I’m obviously an African American male,” Watson said. “I think in Charlottesville the potential to change the narrative is limitless.”
But one of the biggest issues of the meeting was how the bylaws became what they are. Former Board member Sarah Burke said the current version does not include the board in a lot of meaningful decisions.
“We are not going to sugar coat, or just put a bandaid on something,” Johnson said.
The bylaws were also criticized by attorney Jeff Fogel because they do not have subpoena powers, as the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus has proposed.
Both Mayor Nikuyah Walker and Police Chief RaShall Brackney were in virtual attendance.
“I’m here to just listen, like everyone else, to see what the interests of the board are and how we can all move forward,” Brackney said.
The board wrapped up by finalizing a date for its next meeting: July 7.