SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego City Council voted today on their intent to place a police reform measure on the November ballot.
The resolution would create an independent commission on police practices in San Diego, if passed.
“Today’s action is a big step in the right direction toward real accountability and transparency,” Council President Georgette Gómez said.
“The Council's vote demonstrates our commitment to meaningful public-safety reform. In particular, I want to thank Councilmember Monica Montgomery for her leadership on this critical issue. I’m also grateful to Women Occupy San Diego, San Diegans for Justice, the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, Mid-City CAN, and the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association for their passionate advocacy in moving this proposal forward.”
If passed by voters, the initiative would dissolve existing review boards and replace it with a commission that would operate independently from the mayor and police department.
The new commission would have full-time legal council and subpoena power to complete witness testimony and seek records, according to the City Council.
Commissioners would also be appointed by the City Council.
Barbara Bry released the following statement after the announcement:
Today I was proud to vote “Yes” on two resolutions that move forward a charter amendment for November 2020 to create a Commission on Police Practices, a measure that is pro-community and necessary in building trust between our residents and our police officers.
Thank you to my colleague Councilmember Monica Montgomery, Andrea St. Julian, San Diegans For Justice, Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association and Women Occupy San Diego for your persistence in bringing this ballot measure forward. As an advocate for accountability and transparency in government, I have been a supporter of this measure since Women Occupy introduced me to it in 2018. This commission makes sense — an independent oversight body should have its own legal counsel as well as subpoena power, the ability to hire independent investigators, and independence from the mayor’s office.
While today’s vote created the potential for a new entity with principles and powers our current community review board lacks, it isn’t the sole answer to the complex issues we face regarding disparate treatment by law enforcement based on race.
Today’s vote was a step in the right direction. Independent oversight is long overdue and will help build momentum towards restoring trust, not just in law enforcement, but in our local government as well. The City Council will vote to formally place this measure on the November ballot at our July 7 meeting.