Phoenix City Council rejects police oversight board

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The Phoenix City Council failed to adopt an ordinance that would have officially started the process and establish a police accountability office to review police shootings and excessive force claims. Phoenix Councilman Carlos Garcia discusses with Horizonte host José Cárdenas about the civilian oversight board’s delay.


In February, there was a 5-4 vote to improve the framework of the office of accountability and transparency, said Garcia. Councilman Michael Nowakowski, who initially voted in favor of the plan, voted no for the ordinance this November, citing transparency concerns in the planning.

“We’re back to square one, unfortunately,” said Garcia.

Right now, the ordinance has passed with its original framework as well as the funding for the project. Once there is a new council in April, there will be another opportunity to revisit the proposal, said Garcia. Nowakowski’s term will be finished by April, and Garcia hopes the replacement council person will be sympathetic with their cause.

“It was really unfortunate that councilman Nowakowski voted against it,” said Garcia. “He has actually lead the public safety subcommittee for the last seven years. So he understands the issues that are there.”

Looking forward

Garcia says the office of accountability and transparency will hopefully be followed by the establishment of a civilian review board. The goal, Garica says, is to have the two work “hand in hand” with each other for the betterment of the community.

“The community is really exhausted, and I don’t blame them. I join them in wanting a better office of accountability,” Garcia said.

Phoenix Councilman Carlos Garcia

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