New committee will aid power of citizens making complaints - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

New committee will aid power of citizens making complaints

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - An internal audit of the Memphis Police Department, brought about by the high profile police beating of a transgendered suspect at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center, is complete.

The controversy sent shockwaves through the Memphis community, after Action News 5 uncovered video from inside the intake lobby at the CJC last February.  The footage showed an officer beating transgendered suspect Duanna Johnson with handcuffs wrapped around his knuckles. 

Afterwards, Memphis City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove called for an internal audit of the Citizen Complaint process.

"I'm pleasantly surprised, I have to say," Fullilove said at a Council committee meeting Tuesday.

The audit found the Memphis Police Department is in full compliance with the Citizen Complaint process, but it is lacking in one major area

First, it says, the department does have adequate independent investigations of complaints.  It also has checks and balances to ensure proper procedures are followed, and an adequate process in place to handle officers with multiple complaints.

But, the audit reveals, the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board lacks power.
"It can't make any decisions regarding action or inaction that has been taken against police officers," Fullilove said.

Councilman Kemp Conrad chairs the Audit Committee, which voted Tuesday to launch a new ad-hoc committee.  Conrad said the new committee will "review that board to make recommendations on how we can make it more effective for the citizens of Memphis."

Fullilove said she hopes the new committee will give citizens more power if they feel wronged.

Members of the Memphis City Council, the Memphis Police Department, the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board and the city attorney's office will be placed on the new committee.

Click here to send an email to Kontji Anthony.

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