When creating a police oversight board, the Cedar Rapids City Council and a local Black Lives Matter protest group need to restrain their speedy pace.
The local protest group has yet to show evidence of a significant problem with the local cops. Instead, they have released a long, expensive and even radical list of 11 recommendations for the review board — including authority to hire and fire the Police Chief, and leveling formal disciplinary charges against police officers. Don’t local Democrats support union protections?
The Black Lives Matter group’s approach sends an unmistakable signal that CR cops are a major problem. They are not.
What’s missing? Transparency! The Council passed a resolution to consider creating this “citizen review board” in June. While the Advocates for Social Justice group aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement have continued their drumbeat for change — now — in the wake of the vile murder of a Minneapolis Black man.
Timing is a huge problem with moving forward on the oversight board. The Council only released its survey on citizens’ attitudes toward police on Aug. 7. Even then, there was only a tight window to meet the Aug. 31 deadline. Then the derecho hit — we have been in survival mode since.
In the public interest, comments should be taken till Sept. 30.