by: Nate Stewart Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte city leaders voted to approve sweeping changes to the Citizens Review Board designed to protect citizens from unjust officers and police brutality.
The new ordinance will make changes to make sure police are not abusing their power.
Residents Channel 9 spoke to Monday night believe the council made the right decision.
Youth mentor Noble Coban said the city's vote to give more power to the CRB will make the streets safer.
"I think it makes it a little safer in that aspect of it to how we handle ourselves, how we can talk to these police and do things that make us feel comfortable," Coban said.
The board is supposed to investigate police disciplinary issues on everything from use of force, search and seizure, and police misconduct.
But for months community members have protested that the board did not have access to information and that it was too difficult for citizens to get a hearing.
"I think tonight is the council saying that we recognize what the community has been saying, we want to fix it," Councilman Michael Barnes said.
The changes passed unanimously by the council Monday night will give the board access to full police internal affairs investigations and make it easier for citizens to get hearings by giving them up to 30 days to file a report with the board.
Channel 9 discovered that since the board was formed it has never once ruled against police.
While the ordinance goes into effect immediately, a complaint has to be filed to the CRB before an investigation actually begins to start the process.
Some citizens are still calling to give the CRB subpoena power, something they say they will continue to push to get.
Read previous coverage here.
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