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District Attorney talks about transparency and independent police review board

summer stephan press conference
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Posted at 6:19 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 21:36:57-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- District Attorney Summer Stephan spoke about her new efforts to train officers and weed out “bad actors.”

The push includes calls for a new independent Commission on Police Practices, which would replace the current Community Review Board on Police Practices.

“Our communities need us to grieve with them, but they also need us as leaders to step up,” Stephan said. “Officers that are involved in abuse like what we saw with Mr. George Floyd have a history. They do not belong in a field where you supposed to serve and protect and you have the power between life and death.”

She said part of the effort to train officers in de-escalating situations includes a new class that focuses on interactions with the public.

“This is about interacting with someone that may have mental health issues, may appear not compliant, and how do you talk to them. How do you de-escalate? How do you show respect and communication?” she said.

The goal is to train all 5,000 officers in the local departments.

The independent Commission on Police Practices would have independent council and subpoena power. It still needs to qualify for the November ballot. Mayor Faulconer pledged his support for the ballot measure Monday. Stephan said she also supports it.

“I support it because it is a balanced approach for oversight and transparency,” Stephan said.

As of late last year, the city’s independent business analysis said the commission could cost between $1.1 to $2.3 million per year, depending on staffing.