Review board could get more power to investigate police complaints

by: Nate Stewart Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A group designed to protect you and keep police from abusing power asked Charlotte city leaders Monday night to consider major changes.

Those changes would give the Citizens Review Board more tools to investigate complaints against police.

The CRB was created to police the police and make sure officers in the community aren't abusing their power.

But there are so many complaints, the board has "no power" of its own on Monday the city manager recommended changes.

If someone has a complaint with a Charlotte Mecklenburg police officer, they are supposed to go to the CRB but for months Eyewitness News has been reporting on serious complaints about the board.

Types of complaints they review range from officer misconduct to excessive force.

Citizens said it's difficult to get a hearing and when a hearing is granted, the board has never once ruled against an officer since it was formed.

Critics said the board is powerless to get information it needs or testimony from officers, but that process could be changing.

"The idea is to have an additional level of oversight that provides and outside review to double check what we've done and how we've done it," said Ron Carlee, city manager.

Carlee recommended council members approve changes to the CRB and give it power to review the police chief's decisions when it comes to disciplining officers.

The biggest changes outlined Monday would give the board access to review the entire internal affairs investigation and make it easier for citizens to get hearings by giving them up to 30 days to file a report with the board.

One item not recommended to council was to give the CRB subpoena power.

The city will officially vote on the CRB ordinance later in the month.

Read more about the CRB, click here.

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