Defense Attorney Calls for Civilian Review Board Member's Removal, Claims Conflict of Interest
Drama unfolded at the Charlottesville Police Civilian Review Board meeting Tuesday night.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Drama unfolded at the Charlottesville Police Civilian Review Board meeting Tuesday night.
Defense attorney Denise Lunsford informed the CRB that she’s requesting the city relieve board member Katrina Turner of her duties after she recently admitted to telling police officers she was on the board during an incident involving her son.
Lunsford claims that incident, which took place after a traffic stop on February 1, was a conflict of interest.
Now, she’s asking Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania to investigate.
However, Turner claims she did nothing wrong.
“You don't even know what you're talking about right now,” Turner said.
Tempers flared on Tuesday, February 12, as Charlottesville Police Civilian Review Board member Katrina Turner candidly fired back at Denise Lunsford after she informed the board she sent a letter to the city asking Turner be removed from the CRB.
“I left the letter in order to notify the CRB of what I was asking the city,” Lunsford said.
This all started after Turner told City Council at its last meeting about a recent run-in with police in which her son was issued a traffic warning ticket, and when she approached the scene she told officers she serves on the board.
"If my son did run that stop sign and that's why he was there, then why did he only get this warning?” Turner said. “Only because when I came out there and let them know I was with the CRB."
Lunsford believes Turner’s actions that night were a conflict of interest and is now asking Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania if Turner committed a crime.
“I have asked the commonwealth’s attorney to determine if you committed a violation of the law,” Lunsford said.
Turner claims she did nothing wrong and had nothing to do with the reason her son was let off with just a warning ticket.
“I was not called until the backup had already arrived and the ticket was already written,” Turner said.
Harold Foley, who lives in Charlottesville, came to Turner's defense and called out Lunsford, who’s a regular attendee at CRB meetings.
“If you don't want to help, you need to get out of the way,” Foley said.
Foley claims Lunsford is undermining the board’s work and is preventing progress from being made in Charlottesville.
“You don't want this to happen, but the citizens of Charlottesville do want this to happen because we are the ones getting pulled over by the police,” Foley said.
Commonwealth's Attorney Joe Platania confirms he has received the letter and says as with all referrals to his office, it will be looked into and responded to soon.