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Birmingham Civilian Review Board Aims to Better Community Relations with Local Police Department

Birmingham Civilian Review Board Aims to Better Community Relations with Local Police Department

The Birmingham Civilian Review Board has been formed, Mayor Randall Woodfin announced in an April 19th news conference, with the goal of improving the Birmingham Police Department’s relationship with local residents through increased transparency and evaluation of department operations.

The group was created “on recommendation from the Public Safety Task Force,” according to a report from ABC 33/40 News. In July, the task force was formed as part of the mayor’s initiative to assess police transparency. Their responsibilities include, “review[ing] public safety issues in the city following the police killing of George Floyd and civil unrest in cities across the nation,” described an AL.com article.

As Mayor Woodfin stated during the news conference, “This announcement is a result of the collaborative work of our Public Safety Task Force and broader efforts to safeguard residents and officers’ safety.” The mayor emphasized that the formation of the Birmingham Civilian Review Board, and the greater fight for police reform in the city, has been a long-time effort for the community, citing the 1979 police killing of Bonita Carter as one of many events that mobilized Birmingham residents toward this cause.

Five people form the Birmingham Civilian Review Board, including two members of the Public Safety Task Force: Victor Revill, the lead attorney of Revill Law Firm, and Joyce White Vance, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. Additional members of the Birmingham Civilian Review Board include Rev. Lawrence Conoway, a pastor with Fellowship Bible Church; T. Marie King, an activist, speaker, and trainer/facilitator; and Annetta Nunn, a YWCA domestic violence court advocate and former chief of the Birmingham Police Department.

The Birmingham Civilian Review Board will address complaints from residents regarding police misconduct. They will “have general investigative and subpoena authority as allowed under Alabama law, except with respect to matters that have been referred to the District Attorney and/or the Jefferson County Personnel Board and/or the Birmingham Police Department’s Internal Affairs,” stated AL.com.

If you are interested in speaking with the Revill Law Firm team, call (205) 928-6544.

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