Initial CRB to end in June, council shares proposed next steps

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The city of Charlottesville is responding to recent statements concerning Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney.

According to a statement, the city and the Charlottesville City Council will continue work with the initial Police Civilian Review Board Through June 2019.

Recently, there was a joint meeting of the council and the CRB, and the council shared its proposed next steps with the CRB and expressed a commitment to continue work with the public and the Charlottesville Police Department to form a permanent review board.

However, the city says recent statements by members of the CRB have inaccurately characterized Brackney's availability and willingness to meet.

"The Charlottesville Police Department is willing to work with the CRB so that it can be successful," said the city in its statement. "However, genuine oversight cannot be achieved in any relationship without collaboration, transparency and integrity by all stakeholders involved."

Brackney has met with members of the CRB since it was created and her office set up a line of communication with the CRB to address questions, concerns or scheduling issues.

At a meeting on March 12, Brackney made a presentation and participated in a CRB question and answer session.

However, the city's statement says the CRB has often gone for weeks or months without communicating with Brackney about a Memorandum of understanding between the CRB and the CPD Chief.

It goes on to say that a member of the CRB falsely said Brackney had refused to meet or was not available for the entire month of June during a meeting this week.

"The strained relations between the Civilian Review Board and Charlottesville Police Chief Dr. RaShall Brackney are unfortunate and the manner in where they were inaccurately characterized this week is damaging," said Interim City Manager Mike Murphy. "I believe the chief has accomplished a great deal in her review and reorganization of the Charlottesville Police Department and should be commended for her efforts to provide greater transparency."

On Thursday, Vice Mayor Heather Hill outlined the next steps for the CRB, including the city council soliciting feedback on the proposed CRB bylaws from the Legal Aid Justice Center and the CPD.

Then at a June city council meeting, the CRB should present its deliverables, such as a final report, draft bylaws, a draft ordinance, and recommendations on budget and staffing.

The statement says the city council believes the appropriate time for the MOU will be after an ordinance and bylaws are endorsed.

The existing CRB will not be extended, the city expects to work with the members of the CRB and others after June.

The council will evaluate its next steps, including arranging a public work session, so an ordinance and bylaws can be put in place in a timely manner.

"The city of Charlottesville, Charlottesville Police Department, and Chief Brackney has no fear of scrutiny in the form of a well thought out Police Civilian Review Board," said Murphy.

He also says he believes there are flaws in the existing proposal and his support for a recent city council decision saying that a MOU should not be created until an ordinance and bylaws have been put in place.

Later on Friday, the member of the CRB who raised concerns about troubles meeting with Brackney responded to the city's statement, saying he read the same email exchange the city sent out aloud in the CRB's last meeting and he does not understand how he misrepresented the exchange.

He added that he did say it has been difficult to arrange meetings with Brackney and that he has expressed frustration to Brackney's scheduler.

He has called on the city to retract what it said in its statement.

The CRB is set to meet on May 1 at 10 a.m.

A copy of some emails between Brackney and the CRB is available in the Related Links box.

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