SCLC calls for police review board

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Friday morning, members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference called for Birmingham to create a citizens police review board.

The SCLC said the group would not be used to micromanage the police department but to give them an extra eye on serious cases. They said they are mainly calling for the review board in light of the incident two years ago in which five Birmingham Police officers were caught on tape striking a man while trying to arrest him. It was recommended on Tuesday that those officers get their jobs back.

"We felt some years ago that having a police review board would not disrupt the work of the Birmingham Police Department but it would give the citizens a broader view and a greater word, especially considering high profile crimes," Bishop Calvin Woods, president of the Birmingham SCLC chapter said.

The organization also feels that an alleged case of police brutality that came out Wednesday adds credence to their request.

The SCLC stresses they really believe the Birmingham Police Department has improved over the years and commend Chief A.C. Roper, but they feel citizens could help them get even better.

Woods feels having as many eyes as possible look at a case would only be beneficial to the department.

He did not go into detail about how such a board should be constructed in terms of who should sit on it and the criteria for cases to be reviewed.

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