TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It seems with every chant during a Tampa protest comes a cry of wrong-doing against the Tampa Police Department.
And now another loud call. “We need change.”
Yvette Lewis, the president of the Hillsborough Branch NAACP, is calling for a complete overhaul of the citizen review board. The citizen review board is set up to have oversight over allegations of misconduct by TPD.
“It has no accountability. No subpoena power. Nobody listens to it. They only come in after the investigation is done and complete.”
The review board was created in 2015 following a Department of Justice investigation into the police department over bike tickets.
The DOJ found more African-Americans were ticketed for bicycle infractions than others.
Former council member Frank Reddick is the person who proposed the oversight committee but it’s not what he intended.
“It turned out having a weak board with no power or authority. They set it up where the citizens review board only gets the complaint after internal affairs had completed their investigation,” Lewis said.
And that’s why today the NAACP, along with the ACLU and community leaders, are asking for a major revamp.
“We’re asking for true people that know the community that understands the community that has the community’s voice,” Lewis said.