LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After months of marches and cries for change, Louisville leaders delivered another big reform Thursday night.
By a near-unanimous vote, Metro Council passed legislation that provides an independent layer of oversight and accountability on the Louisville Metro Police Department.
The legislation creates a Civilian Review and Accountability Board, which will guide an independent Inspector General in reviewing any LMPD disciplinary matters.
According to a news release from Fischer's office, the work group recommended the Inspector General would have the authority to investigate alleged incidents involving any members of the LMPD and any member of the public and have subpoena power, which would require a change in state law. His or her duties may include "examining patterns and practices with LMPD; reviewing policies, procedures and operations within LMPD; providing recommendations on improving operations to the Mayor and Metro Council; investigating complaints; and other operations as needed."
The legislation was drafted by a diverse group of city leaders and ordinary people over the course of five months, in a renewed effort by Mayor Greg Fischer and Metro Council to examine more areas of police reform after the shooting death of Breonna Taylor and months of ensuing protest.
In recent weeks, there was some debate about how much training the members should have and what community groups should be allowed to nominate members. Council members on Thursday, however, struck a compromise championed by one of the bill's sponsors, Councilwoman Paula McCraney, D-7.
"We worked as a team. We fought the good fight. We actually fought. For real," McCraney said. "Today is a good day for the city of Louisville. Today is a good day for this nation, because the nation's watching and they're learning from Louisville, Kentucky."
The 11-member board will be made up of three members nominated by council, two members nominated by the mayor, two positions to which any citizen can apply and four nominated by a variety of community groups like GLI, the Louisville Chapter of the NAACP, the Louisville Urban League and the University of Louisville Department of Public Health
Last week, the bill was also amended to allow three law enforcement groups — the Kentucky Association for Chiefs of Police, the U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Kentucky and the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council — the ability to submit civilian review board candidates for the mayor's consideration. The change was met by criticism by some council members and members of the public who thought the board should remain independent.
On Thursday, a newer amendment, drawn up by McCraney and billed as a compromise, erased those three organizations from the list of groups and added the Louisville Bar Association and the Young Professionals Association of Louisville instead.
While some on council disagreed with that change, many voted for the legislation anyway in the spirit of compromise.
The legislation passed by a vote of 25 to 1. Councilwoman Marilyn Parker, R-18, was the lone "no" vote.
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