Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 11:22 a.m.
Noting 37 Anaheim officer-involved shootings in the past decade, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California is urging the Anaheim City Council to establish a civilian review board to improve public confidence that cheating cops enjoy less of a chance that their conduct will be covered up by sympathetic law enforcement colleagues.
"Public trust in police is essential to effective police work and community safety," ACLU staff attorney Bardis Vakili said in a prepared statement. "A civilian review board, in which the community plays an active role in holding police accountable, will help assure Anaheim's residents that complaints are investigated transparently and vigorously."
Vakili claims that public trust in the police is low because of "murky circumstances" involving the shooting deaths of several Latino men.
Vakili also said a civilian review board is good for officers because it "will vindicate" cops "when allegations are not sustained in a system that the public feels it can trust."
The ACLU believes that the internal Anaheim police review process as well as the District Attorney's investigations of police shootings are too secretive by blocking public access to crucial evidence.
Valiki, who has been honored for his legal work on immigrant rights, is encouraging Anaheim residents to contact city council members and back the the creation of a civilian review board.