Raleigh police chief rejects need for citizen-led review board

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh's police chief said no to a citizen-led board on police oversight but still promised transparency Tuesday.

The request for the review board came less than a week after another shooting involving a Raleigh police officer.

Several high-profile cases in the past several years -- Akiel Denkins, Kyron Hinton, Soheil Mojarrad - have put immense pressure on the Raleigh Police Department.

The city council wants to see more accountability, but there's a real standoff on how to do that effectively

"I am the first to say we're not a perfect organization, we're not a perfect department and neither do we claim to be, but we strive very hard to recognize our shortcomings and work to overcome them," Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said.

The chief of police may not spend much time on the street, but the chief is on the front lines protecting the department's reputation.

"I must say that at what point does performance become so restrictive that officers simply cannot do their jobs," Deck-Brown said. They are the ones running towards danger at the risk of their own lives."

On Tuesday, the chief responded to a study about how other North Carolina cities engage the public to police the police officers, including a citizens-review board in Charlotte and police-review board in Durham.

The Raleigh City Council could choose to create something similar -- or something different -- and allow a potential board to review complaints, hear testimony or even issue disciplinary actions. The city council could also choose to enhance RPD's existing internal affairs protocols.

"Trust works both ways. When we talk about accountability, our community has a responsibility to be accountable for their own actions as well," Deck-Brown said.

Raleigh Police also released new data about crimes and arrests in 2018. According to RPD, officers applied "use of force" in less than 3 percent of all physical arrests, and just 0.1 percent of all police-community interactions.

On Tuesday, the council decided to go back to the drawing board and will consider plans for police oversight at a later date.

After the meeting, Deck-Brown told ABC11 that there were about 45 internal affairs investigations last year.

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