Thursday, February 26, 2009

Citizen's Police Review Board Meetings This Week

I received this in my emails. There's one meeting tonight at 6 pm.

Accreditation by Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (PLEAC) is the best way to ensure best practices by our police department. Please learn more about this, and Police Chief Nate Harpers refusal become accredited. Then take the the requested email action.

Call to attend Citizen Police Review Board meetings this week:

The next two meetings of the CPRB are Tues. 2/24 6 p.m. Pittsburgh City Council Chambers, 5th floor, City County Building, Grant Street, Downtown, and Thurs. 2/26 same time and place.

Black and White Reunion members and friends must support the CPRB by attending its meetings. Here's why:

1. The Black and White Reunion and the Citizen Police Review Board are natural allies in the struggle for justice. For instance, BWR & CPRB have united to push for independent accreditation of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Also, both BWR & CPRB came to be as a result of public outrage at the death of Jonny Gammage in 1995.

2. The CPRB is an official part of the City Code. It is a foot in the doorway to power.

3. The CPRB can grow in influence if more people show up consistently at both regular meetings and public hearings, and express support for its mission.

4. The CPRB was created by a referendum of the people. If people ignore it, it could wither and die. We do not want to withdraw our foot from the doorway.

5. We earn the disrespect of the police if we set up a system to monitor them and then fail to pay attention.

6. Attending CPRB public hearings shows support for citizens who try to use it to improve police conduct.

The Tues. meeting next week is a regular business meeting. Executive Director Elizabeth Pittinger plans to present a briefing related to hostage situations, e.g., the Point Breeze Lamar Smith killing. The Thurs. meeting is a continued hearing on Will Anderson's police brutality complaint, and will also be worthwhile.

Let's get some of our good minds working together for police accountability by showing up at those two meetings. I hope to see you there.

The Summit Planning Council will reconvene monthly meetings on Wednesday March 4 at 7 PM in the East Liberty Presbyterian Church.