Tempers Flare at Civilian Review Board Meeting with City Council
Charlottesville City Council was invited to attend Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Charlottesville Police Civilian Review Board, and tensions ran high.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Council was invited to attend Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Charlottesville Police Civilian Review Board, and tensions ran high.
The main purpose of the meeting was for the board to get guidance from University of Virginia Law students on drafting bylaws. Before that could happen, civil rights attorney Jeff Fogel stormed out of the meeting after a verbal altercation with city council member Heather Hill.
Mayor Nikuyah Walker and Vice Mayor Heather Hill were asked how the board can add Fogel as its ninth member of the board. Mayor Walker informed members that it was unlikely to happen, and tempers began to flare and Hill was called out for not supporting Fogel when he first applied.
“She’s not willing to tell you or be honest or open or anything else, or be accountable to the community about why it is you think I’m so terrible that I can’t sit on this board,” Fogel said during the altercation. Hill responded by saying she doesn’t think Fogel has the “capacity to be objective.”
After the councilors and Fogel left, the meeting proceeded as planned and the board was advised by UVA law student Taylor Mitchell about how other civilian review boards across the country operate.
“Each board has its own pitfalls and each board has its own positives and you really need to look at each individual board and kind of get the best options out of that,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell discussed how localities such as Fairfax County and Virginia Beach have their bylaws set up.
“I think one way to do it is to have as many powers and teeth as you can possibly fit in there within the restrictions of the law and put that forward and see what City Council says."
Mitchell recommended that the board draft preliminary bylaws that offer members guidance right now as they go forward creating a set of bylaws that will be set in stone for all future civilian review boards to follow.
The board’s next meeting is set for September 11.