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Council Seeks Subpoena Power For Police Review Board

Charlotte City Council members voted unanimously Monday night to add one more item to their 2017 lobbying priorities: Seeking legislation to give Charlotte's Police Review Board subpoena power.  It's one of the proposals to arise after the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in September.

The Police Review Board examines cases of police misconduct, but it's relatively weak and typically agrees with internal police investigations. Subpoena power would help the board conduct more independent investigations.

Council member Ed Driggs said two city council subcommittees recommended the move.  

To give the board subpoena power, the city must get special legislation approved at the state legislature. Family members of victims of police violence have been calling on the city to push for the legal change. 

State Rep. Rodney Moore (D-Charlotte) introduced legislation like this in the past, but it never got out of committee. He has said he'll re-introduce a bill in 2017.  And this time, the city will be there to lobby for it. 

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.