Citizens Police Advisory Committee discuss confusion about what their role is

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Citizens Police Advisory Committee in Pensacola, which had its first meeting in July, is now questioning exactly what its role is.

Several committee members want to be more involved in reviewing complaints against police officers.

The committee was formed after a police officer shot and killed Tymar Crawford. That shooting led to protests in 2019 and the community demanded the committee be formed. The city took action after more protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“Probably all of us are a little confused as to ..and it becomes frustrating..as to what exactly are we doing, right?” Committee Facilitator Cedric Alexander said. “Are we advising? Are we oversighting?”

It was discussed at the committee’s Tuesday night meeting. Several members want to do more than discuss some issues.

“What is it that we can push for and make sure that they’re being held accountable?” Committee Member Haley Morrissette said. “How are we helping facilitate that?”

Morrissette and Kyle Cole were two of the protestors who now serve on the committee. Cole said he would like to review dash camera or body camera video of some officers. He and others would like to do more looking at specific cases where complaints have been made about officers’ conduct.

“We need something like documented complaints where we can look at those and see if proper procedure was actually followed so we can make a recommendation that maybe something needs to be done with this officer if this continues,” Vin Durant said.

Mayor Grover Robinson would have answered many of their questions because he created the committee. He’s typically at these meetings but he was at homesick. They plan to discuss and get more clarity from him at the next meeting.

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