HOUSTON - In light of the latest developments in Breonna Taylor’s case, Houston community activists are now calling on Mayor Turner to reconsider a new model for a citizen’s independent review board.
The goal is to provide the current board with subpoena powers and create more transparency and accountability with the police department.
During a news conference Thursday, Houston activists, including several former HPD officers, called for the city’s current independent police review board to be given more responsibilities, including subpoena powers.
SIGN UP FOR FOX 26 HOUSTON EMAIL ALERTS
"All they say is “trust us.” That trust is not there anymore. We just have to be fair about it. That trust is gone between the black, brown communities, it’s not there," said Mack Moore, a former HPD officer.
"An independent citizens board would allow for the oversight that would enable accountability," said activist Noel Pinnock.
"You have to have some independent people come in and look at this from a different perspective. They get to see what’s going into these police reports. What’s being written, how things are being covered up, it's time out," said Moore.
The group criticized what they believe was Chief Acevedo’s disregard for the review board’s decision during the case of Nicholas Chavez earlier this month.
Acevedo fired four HPD officers for the deadly shooting of Chavez in April, despite recommendations from the board, not to fire the officers.
"The union put forth and said that the review board they have now decided that the officers were not at fault for doing anything wrong in the Nicholas Chavez case. But Chief Acevedo said well that board doesn’t tell him what to do. To me, that’s an indication that that board has no power anyway. So, by Chief Acevedo’s words, they’re powerless. The statement that he made is an indication that we need something new that actually has the power to hold police officers accountable and they step outside the presets and tenets of law enforcement," said Shelby Stewart, a former HPD sergeant.
Stewart says he has not been in contact with Mayor Turner regarding the proposed changes.