GENEVA — After hearing from dozens of members of the public Wednesday night, City Council approved a number of police reform measures brought forth by the Black Lives Matter: The People’s Peaceful Protest movement.
Council, which worked well past midnight, listened to at least 2½ hours of public comment, a majority urging them to pass the measures. However, there were a number of people who urged caution and suggested more deliberation on reform was needed and that it include a larger representation of the community, including police.
Vote tallies were unavailable as of Thursday morning.
Ultimately, six of the eight resolutions on the agenda passed, including setting in motion the process for establishing a police accountability board by setting a public hearing. The creation of the board will require a change to the city charter by Council, which must pass the measure twice following the public hearing, the date of which was unavailable Thursday morning.
Tabled for further discussion were resolutions to end no-knock warrants and one that would revise the city police department’s use of force police.
Here are the others that passed:
• Ensuring diversity and standards for the Community Compact Committee, with amendments.
• Requiring collection and reporting of Geneva Police Department data metrics, with amendments.
• Creating a process and timeline for revising the city of Geneva body camera policy.
• Establishing police budget advisory board.
• Establishing a whistle-blower protection policy for the city.
The People’s Protest issued a statement on the vote, saying, in part:
“We have formed in the vacuum of sound policy and accountability, tempered the demands of our long outraged community, charted our journey toward effective change, and collectively advanced toward those goals like fierce Zulu warriors. Our many victories at the July 1st city council meeting are just the first steps towards equity and systemic reform of our police department and city government.
“One major goal of this movement has been to bring sensible reforms to the table for the betterment of the entire community. We appreciate the council's support of these common sense policies and look forward to continuing the discussion about the issues that the community, including the NAACP, have been working to implement for years.
“A police accountability board has been brought forward over and over and never got a start, but it is moving forward now and we are committed to seeing it through! We appreciate the outpouring of community support in ensuring that Black Lives Matter!”