New appeals board to hear citizen disputes with police in Dayton

DAYTON — In the city of Dayton, if someone does not like how their interaction with the police department went, they can now ask to have an appeals board look at it.

The police reform process made it easier for citizens to dispute the findings of a police investigation. It will now be done through the Community Appeals Board, but on Wednesday, the city decided they needed to make one change in that process.

Dayton City Commissioners approved one amendment to the new Community Appeals Board put in place by the police reform process. It effectively says any lawsuit filed in connection to a case going through a hearing to the CAB will bring the CAB review to a halt.

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Joe Parlette, Deputy City Manager for Dayton, said, “It would be stayed while the actual higher scrutiny process, in a court system, took place.”

Parlette said if there is no lawsuit, any person that is not happy with the result of a police call or investigation can ask for a review by the Community Appeals Board.

“One of my daughters had a concussion. She had her fingers twisted,” said Allison Youngblood.

That incudes any accusations of officers’ wrongful action on typical calls for service as Youngblood claimed. Or it could include very high profile and controversial interactions, like the call that included Dayton Police Officers dragging Clifford Owensby out of his car.

Professional Standard Bureau reviews and their investigative work are all things that a citizen appealing a police report of finding could have access to under the Community Appeals Board process unless a lawsuit is filed.

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“They have full access to investigative files, videos, audio recordings. All of those things, provided in advance of a hearing,” Parlette said.

City leaders say people are already taking advantage of the new system put in place, along with 134 other police reform measures. Three hearing on three appeals have already been held.

“Certainly, transparency is the goal,” Parlette said.

The goad of the Community Appeals Board is to keep cases out of the courthouse as people dispute the findings of a police investigation.

However, if a case does end up in court, that means the brakes go on for any internal investigation through the appeals board.