Report: ATL police oversight panel needs stronger subpoena power
Atlanta’s police oversight agency could do its work quicker and more effectively if it had direct subpoena power, a human rights advocacy group said in a report issued Monday.
The Southern Center for Human Rights urged city council members to strengthen the powers of the Citizens Review Board, so it could issue subpoenas on its own rather than seeking permission from the council.
Police have resisted giving the board files on two high-profile police shootings. Mayor Shirley Franklin’s office recently asked the council to consider restricting the board’s access to files that are part of an open investigation.
The center’s report disputed claims by police rank-and-file that the review board would be violating their rights if it investigated cases that were still under review by the APD’s internal affairs unit.
Earlier this month, city council members subpoenaed police files in the fatal shootings of Pierre George, an unarmed robbery suspect, and Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old woman gunned down in 2006 in a botched drug raid.
Police have until July 6 to deliver the files to the review board.