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Measure B To Form Independent Police Review Commission Passes

The San Diego Police Department headquarters is shown on Jan. 7, 2020.
Zoë Meyers
The San Diego Police Department headquarters is shown on Jan. 7, 2020.
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UPDATE: 5:30 p.m., Nov. 5, 2020

Measure B, asking San Diego voters to create more robust community oversight on the actions of police officers, passes.

The measure would create a Commission on Police Practices, which would have members appointed by the City Council, its own staff, an independent attorney and the power to subpoena and conduct investigations into police officer misconduct.

The commission would also review complaints against officers and investigate in-custody deaths, shootings by police and other allegations of misconduct. Finally, it would make recommendations on police officer discipline and police policies.

"If something happens in San Diego that the community is concerned about, the new commission can do a full investigation, so the community can be satisfied there was independent investigation," said Andrea St. Julian, co-chairwoman of San Diegans for Justice, which has been pushing for Measure B.

Activists wanted a stronger community review board for the police department back in 2016, but settled for Measure G, which made smaller changes.

Then they tried again in 2018, but the City Council did not act quickly enough to put the measure on the ballot.

The existing Community Review Board on Police Practices "advises the mayor, but it can't do any independent investigation of complaints against police," St. Julian said. "It lacks the independence that's needed for the community at large to feel comfortable about its role investigating police misconduct."

There is no organized opposition to Measure B. The San Diego Police Officers Association is neutral on it.

"The voters can decide what type of oversite they have," said police union president Jack Schaeffer.

The measure has several main supporters, including Mayor Kevin Faulconer, the California Nurses Association and the San Diego County Democratic Party. The City Council voted unanimously to put it on the ballot.

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