Urbana Civilian Police Review Commission asks council to allow video-based complaints | Courts-police-fire
URBANA – At its meeting on Wednesday, the Urbana Civilian Police Review Commission asked the city council to allow complaints against the police to be video-based.
The the ordinance currently says complaints “must be based on first-hand testimony either from the person involved in the incident or from a witness to the incident”.
The council approved the recommendation to city council by a 5-0 vote, as two of its seats remain vacant.
In July, council maintained a physical presence requirement in the complaint form, with some council members saying they were limited by the language of the order, which it would be up to council to change.
Member Scott Dossett also argued that allowing video-based complaints could result in a significant amount that could slow down the board.
Member Ricardo Diaz said on Wednesday that while he understands this, he doesn’t think it should stop the change.
He also asked what should happen if the victim does not want to file a complaint but a third party does.
That’s not a problem, said member Tony Allegretti, because “they won’t be presented to the board. … That does not prevent us from examining it.
He said the board wouldn’t necessarily need to hear from the victim because “it’s more of a concern whether this is the proper procedure.”
The victim could refuse to testify, “just as the subject officer does not appear before our counsel to discuss what happened. We have a representative ”of the officer, said Allegretti.
Board member Darrell Price agrees.
“The person who has been abused for our purposes may be too traumatized or intimidated, and that would be the reason why they didn’t want to press charges,” Price said. “But it can be clear from the video that something serious has happened and should be brought to our attention.”