CP Photo: Lisa Cunningham
Allegheny County Council has appointed its first four members to the police review board formed last spring following three years of discussion.
During a regular business meeting last night, council members approved Richard Garland
, Lynn Banaszak, Keith Murphy, and Justin Leavitt Pearl to the nine-member board. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald is expected to appoint four of the remaining vacancies, with the final member set to be jointly selected by both bodies, according to the ordinance underwriting the board.
Council began exploring the creation of an independent police review board immediately after the killing of Antwon Rose II in June 2018. Rose, 17, died after a police officer shot him three times in the back while fleeing a traffic stop. The officer was later acquitted by a jury.
The review board
, approved in an April 2021 ordinance to take effect January 2022, is authorized to review complaints filed by the public against officers working for county law enforcement or any municipal departments that voluntarily join the program.
Where it feels a complaint has value, the board must first attempt to resolve the issue informally with the officer and department in question. Should this fail, the board can conduct its own inquiries and recommend disciplinary actions to the county executive, police department, and, if applicable, the relevant municipality. The board does not have the power to enforce its recommendations, which may be rejected by police and government officials.