Police Review Board Meets After Conflict with Police

7 years 6 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, December 08 2010 Dec 8, 2010 Wednesday, December 08, 2010 10:10:28 PM CST December 08, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - A request by Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton could possibly change some things for the Columbia Citizens Police Review Board.

The board met Wednesday night, just one week after police chief Ken Burton rejected its findings and questioned its mission. The Chief disagreed with the board when it found an officer had acted improperly in a night club incident last December.

The board discussed Burton's request to adopt his proposed definition of misconduct to reflect Missouri state statuet 590.653 RSMo.

The board decided to defer voting on the issue until it was clear what his request actually means.

Members said they would like to hear from Chief Burton or a CPD representative at the January meeting to better understand the chief's request.

Chief Burton released a written statement last week Wednesday restating his support of Officer Nathan Turner and rejecting the findings of the Citizens Police Review Board (CPRB). The CPRB ruled last month Turner used excessive force while handcuffing suspect Derek Billups outside of the former Nephews Bar on December 12, 2009.

In his statement, Burton said the CPRB did not know enough to make its decision.

"There is simply not enough concrete evidence to prove or disprove the allegation," Burton's statement said. Burton went on to say the board should not question police tactics--something he said only the officers involved could evaluate.

But, CPRB Chair Ellen LoCurto-Martinez said Turner admitted he was in the wrong.

"Officer Turner was specifically asked if he made any mistakes, or if he would do anything differently and his answer was, and I will quote, 'I should not have gotten so excited to approach and put handcuffs on him, which was a key statement.'"

"The comments that the CPOA made, the Chief made, there's been some citizen comments flying around and I think a lot of it, they don't truly understand who and what we are. So I think we need to make a better effort next year on going after the public and saying who and what we are," LoCurto-Martinez said.

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