Board Awaits Chief on Officer Complaint

7 years 4 weeks 9 hours ago Thursday, November 18 2010 Nov 18, 2010 Thursday, November 18, 2010 6:58:52 PM CST November 18, 2010 in News
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COLUMBIA - The chair of the Citizens Police Review Board said Thursday she is waiting for Police Chief Ken Burton to make his decision on the board's ruling concerning an officer complaint. The board gave Burton its recommendation Wednesday that Officer Nathan Turner acted improperly with citizen Derek Billups in December 2009. Burton has ten business days from the receipt of the decision to determine what he'll do with the officer. This investigation is the first case which the CPRB interviewed witnesses and police officers. The chair of the board said she believes it did a complete job. "We had the testimony. We listened to the witnesses. We read everything that internal affairs did and we did a thorough job," said Chair Ellen LoCurto-Martinez. Not everyone agrees the board came to the right conclusion. The Columbia Police Officers Association released a statement last week criticizing the November 10th CPRB meeting and its decision. Since the board's recommendation letter was released, a representative of CPOA said it stands by its critique. CPOA said its main issue lies with the board's procedures and not its decision. Both groups are awaiting Chief Burton's decision. Burton's original position to the board was that there was not enough evidence to prove that the officer had done anything wrong. Billups claimed that Turner approached him from behind, did not say he was a police officer, and threw him to the ground unnecessarily. Chief Burton can choose to agree with the CPRB's determination that the officer's actions were improper or keep his original view of the matter.

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