Boston Police Accountability Panel Scraps First Public Meeting, Reschedules It For Next Week

posted in: City, Proposed Reforms | 0

The City of Boston rescheduled the inaugural public meeting of the new Office of Police Accountability and Transparency commission after a GBH News inquiry regarding the lack of public advance notification of the event.

The meeting, which was previously scheduled to take place Thursday evening, is now set for Monday, Oct. 4, at 5:30 p.m.

Boston’s city charter makes no mention of notification for public agency meetings, except for the mayor and the council, but state law requires that public agencies post notice of a meeting “as least 48 hours in advance,” except in an emergency.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said the OPAT meeting was not properly publicly noticed due to a “technical issue,” but will receive more public promotion in the days to come.

The situation follows acting Mayor Kim Janey’s appointment of Leslie Harris, a former associate justice for the Suffolk County Juvenile Court, to chair the new office’s Internal Affairs Oversight Panel — the arm that would review the Boston Police Department’s internal investigations.

Janey has also appointed four of the nine individuals required to staff the accountability office’s Civilian Review Board. The nominees’ time on the board is at the discretion of the mayor’s office.

  • Dexter Miller, a Dorchester resident and former Boston Special Officer
  • E. Peter Alvarez, a West Roxbury resident, attorney and Senior Vice President at Atlantic Global Risk
  • Joshua Dankoff, a Jamaica Plain resident and Director of Strategic Initiatives for Citizens for Juvenile Justice
  • Danny Rivera, Jr., a Mattapan resident, music teacher and former constituent services consultant for Janey

Five other appointments are needed to fully staff the civilian review board. From those members, a review board chair will be selected to serve as an OPAT commissioner — a member with the power to cast a vote to subpoena witnesses and compel testimony for investigations.

On Wednesday Tanisha Sullivan and Jamarhl Crawford, two members of Boston’s Police Reform Task Force, told GBH News that they are frustrated with the lack of communication from the Janey administration.

Sullivan and Crawford are also pushing to hear more on police reform from mayoral finalists, Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu.

Read full article on WGBH