Activists want to improve MPD’s accountability

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A non-profit wants to change the way you file complaints against Memphis Police officers.

Memphis United has been working with the mayor to bring back the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board, which is an independent, non-police mayoral agency.

Right now when you file a complaint against a MPD officer, you have to file it at a precinct or with internal affairs.

Memphis United held a press conference Wednesday urging Memphians to come forward about their troubling experiences with law enforcement.

Three people who have filed complaints spoke about the process, and why they feel it is unaccountable and not transparent.

They said the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board, also called CLERB, is important to Memphians.

“This is about balancing the scales. Currently the only process for filing a complaint against MPD is through MPD. If we want to restore any confidence in law enforcement, the citizens, whose safety is in their hands, needs a process to ensure real transparency and accountability,” said organizing coordinator Paul Garner.

Memphis United said it is working with the mayor to restore CLERB hopefully by August. It had been inactive for over four years.

However, they want to ensure it has more power than before, because there was no punitive authority, no subpoena power and officers’ involvement was strictly voluntary.

They are asking for your help to make it effective as possible.

Memphis United will hold nine town hall meetings this summer in each city district.

The first will be June 24 at Lewis Davis CME Chruch at 6 p.m.

They will take the suggestions to city council.

You can also share your experiences with MPD through Twitter and Facebook using #CLERBspeakout2014.

If you want to share your ideas on CLERB, use #MYCLERB.

12 comments

  • luvbreamfishin'

    Haha,,yeah,,they want to complain why their thug son or daughter was arrested when “they didn’t do nuthin’…..typical…

  • Thomas H. Evans

    What “exactly” do they hope to achieve from having such a group? Nothing will happen to a police officer unless the Police Director and D.A. change the way they investigate complaints. I just don’t believe this group, or any other group will be able to change that. On the other hand, all they are doing is opening themselves up to a bunch of complaints about “they arrested my son/daughter because they are black;” enough already. When are they going to do something about holding the parents accountable, now that’s something they can really work on.

  • Hard Truths

    We need a civilian review board with subpoena power and a staff, including attorneys and investigators.

    Internal Affairs CANNOT be trusted. All they do is help the cop get his story straight.

    Memphis has a ROGUE police force, full of incompetent, corrupt, and brutal hoodie and redneck thugs.

    Example — just the LATEST example — Memphis Police Department poster boy Ronald Harris..

    We have GOT to POLICE THE POLICE in Memphis.

    They are NOT worthy of our trust or respect. They’re a common street gang.

  • Hard Truths

    We cannot trust DA Amy Weirich, either.

    She is SO in the police’s pocket. She is a holster-sniffer.

  • The Real Chris Williams Jr

    I will file a claim about the MPD is horrible. You have some good people but for the most part they are crooked.

  • Hard Truths

    It isn’t just Memphis, but we have more than our share of criminal, perverted, thug cops. Police work attracts abusive people. Police departments like to hire and promote abusive people, because that’s the kind of people who rise up in the ranks to decision-making, hiring positions..

    Good cops are either nearing retirement or are itching to find a new career. Morale is at an all-time low, except for the Ronald Harrises, whose second shift is as gang thugs.

  • sue2

    Hmm. I am not a criminal nor a thug. I work hard everyday and pray that I come home to see my husband and children after dealing with the madness that is Memphis. If civilians want in on investigations I am all for it – I have never been in trouble. However, if a civilian IS on the review board I believe their background and history should be checked too just to make sure they are not “out to get the police”.

  • jay

    First of all let’s PUT EVERYTHING OUT ON THE TABLE. The civilian review board is just asking for ONE SIDE OF A STORY. Everybody and ther great-grandmother is going to complain about “how they were stopped for no reason “….really?? If you are not the police you HAVE NO IDEA what it’s like to police a city in THE TOP 5 FOR VIOKEBT CRIME. If you all have a problem with the police get your sorry rectums out there and police this city yoursel and quit complaining. Nobody that has been arrested thinks they should have been…… NOBODY !

  • kay

    there are good and bad in every profession, not just police officers. What about the teachers, nurses, doctors, and all the rest? For the majority I think they do a great job in the conditions they must deal with and the nutty people in Memphis.

  • Arguenot

    You know what would be useful? Have all these citizens who think the MPD, or police in general, are so very horrible…. ride along for a week with an officer. That should be a requirement. See what they see, deal with what they deal with…..take the blinders off. Sure there are bad cops, just as another commenter said…there is bad in every profession.
    But you can count on one hand the number of professions that as part of their job duty, put their lives on the line for you every day.

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