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Mayor proposes police accountability office, other reforms

November 12, 2020 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s mayor said Thursday he’ll file a proposal with the City Council to create a new independent police oversight agency.

The proposed office, called the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency, would have subpoena power to investigate police misconduct and also support two new community panels Mayor Marty Walsh said he’s creating by executive orders.

The first panel, a 9-member Civilian Review Board, will be made up of mayoral and city council nominees. The other, the Internal Affairs Oversight Panel, which would have the power to review all completed police internal affairs cases, as well as to review the division’s policies and procedures.

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The Internal Affairs Oversight Panel would replace the Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel, the city’s current police oversight board, which has limited authority to review internal affairs investigations.

The measures were among the key recommendations from a police reform task force Walsh formed in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May. The panel submitted its recommendations last month.

Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, the city’s first Black top cop, said the new measures would help the department “become a stronger, more equitable force for public safety.”