CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The People's Coalition, a group of nonprofits and activists, is demanding Charlottesville City Council give the Charlottesville Civilian Review Board (CRB) the resources it needs to continue.

The coalition is asking for the public to turn out for Monday night's city council meeting to show support. The People's Coalition believes the CRB is necessary for our city to run smoothly, and right now time is running out on five out of the six member's terms.

"We're almost at the finish line. We've gotten about 95% of the way there,” said Sarah Burke, CRB.    

The CRB has submitted bylaws to council with some requests for the future board. They want two permanent, paid positions on the board, 1% of the police department's budget, a diverse board for the future term, and transparency.

On Monday, the People's Coalition sent out a press release backing up those requests.

"We just want everybody to refocus about what we have to do to create transparency for the community and the city police department,” said Harold Folley.

The CRB was created about a year ago. It's meant to serve as the bridge between the police department and the people.

Folley said, "Folks can go to the CRB and have this issue, talk in public about it, and the CRB might have some policies in place where they can go say ‘hey can we figure out this, what’s going on?’"

Harold Folley with the People's Coalition said the CRB needs support from the community to push the council to make decisions soon.

"We've asked City Council for some feedback. We've asked the police department to provide that feedback as well and the city attorney so we can move this thing over the finish line. And the question, I think, at this point is just how long that's gonna take," said Burke.

"We will be giving some level of feedback,” said Heather Hill, city councilor. "Council will be meeting to discuss this and might determine maybe there is an additional amount of time that we need just to get to that point but we haven't had that kind of conversation yet."

City Hall issued a statement saying the next steps involve feedback from councilors and the city manager on the program. June 17 is when they expect to have a presentation on the final CRB recommendations.


People’s Coalition Press Release:

Charlottesville, VA. - The People’s Coalition urges the Council, the City Manager, and the community to refocus on the original intent of Council’s resolution to create an effective and permanent CRB (attached) to advance racial equity in policing in Charlottesville, instead of using its resources to falsely malign members of the initial Civilian Review Board.

The CRB is the direct product of the community’s demand for police accountability in response to the brutalization of black and brown community members during the Summer of Hate in 2017. But the history of inequitable policing goes back further than that. “Stop and Frisk” and CPD arrest data from 2014-2019 and preliminary results from the City/County Disproportionate Minority Contact with the Justice System study underscore Charlottesville’s lack of institutional accountability to black residents. We refuse to allow this racist legacy to continue for another generation.

The People’s Coalition calls on the community to demand that Council pass CRB’s bylaws and fulfill its promise to address systemic injustice in policing. A fully funded and permanent CRB, will inject accountability, transparency, and justice into our current racially discriminatory policing practices for generations to come. The initial CRB has worked tirelessly to educate themselves about various civilian oversight models and to draft effective bylaws that will ensure a strong CRB in the future. The current proposed bylaws can be fully executed under state and local law despite misinformation to the contrary.

The People’s Coalition calls for Council and the City Manager to refocus on the CRB mandate by:

  • Supporting a fully-funded CRB model (at no less than 1% of CPD budget) with two permanent staff positions, as outlined in the initial CRB’s proposed organizational structure, specifically including an original complaint review function;
  • Extending the appointments of the initial CRB members through at least August 30, 2019 to ensure enough time for an transparent and thoroughly completed drafting process ;
  • Facilitating public meetings for discussion between the CPD senior leadership and the full initial CRB;
  • Providing a process and schedule of feedback between Council and the initial CRB to ensure timely development of the proposed bylaws, may necessary enabling ordinances, and the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the CRB and CPD.

We urge community members to come to City Council meetings on Monday, May 6 and Monday, May 20 at 6:30 to support the CRB and racial justice in Charlottesville.