Mayor Frank Scott Jr. today reiterated his desire to establish a citizen review board to review police misconduct and a Freedom of Information Act request has produced a draft of what City Attorney Tom Carpenter has come up with so far.

Here are the ordinance and a memorandum from Carpenter describing how he arrived at what’s evolved so far. Based on input from new Police Chief Keith Humphrey, Carpenter’s memo said he’d roughed out a board that combines a couple of versions of review boards that exist in other cities — it blends investigative duties and “auditing,” in which the boards review how a police department handled a complaint.

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The documents released today provide no insight on Scott’s own view, which will be paramount in what’s presented to the City Board.

They do give some idea of how the new board might function. The draft describes a five-member board, with three appointed by the mayor, one a community activist and one “designated as a representative of the business community and shall be selected from nominations made from such groups as the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.” The City Board also could choose to designate the Civil Service Commission as the review board.

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The board could investigate allegations of excessive force or deadly force or corruption or other matters chosen by city officials. Its findings and recommendations would be presented to the mayor, city manager and chief of police. The ordinance envisions no enforcement authority.

It’s a step forward from current practice, where the department is control of all investigations. If no serious disciplinary measures are taken (suspension or firing), much of what it discovers is beyond the reach of the public. The ordinance as drafted allows for public hearings.

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