With the number of police shootings in Jacksonville rising by the day, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office does not want a citizen’s review board. They claim the process will become political and that the shooting review now is driven by evidence.
Evidence from officers, by officers, reviewed by fellow officers.
As a Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer, I believe at the very least, there needs to be more media coverage of the existing review board. The police say it is open to the public, but the hearings are held on Wednesday mornings and you have to go through security at the Jacksonville Police Memorial Building stating the reason you are there. Many citizens of Jacksonville are working on Wednesday mornings, making it hard for them to come downtown.
Why not broadcast the review hearing live? Jacksonville police have claimed that the coverage will make the police officers nervous while testifying. Nervous? If they are telling the truth about what happened, what is there to be nervous about? Police officers go into the field every day having to make life or death decisions. Testifying at a hearing will break them?
The majority of police shootings may be justified, but it is hard to believe there has NEVER been an unjustified police shooting in Jacksonville.