The Compton City Council has voted on an urgency motion to establish a Law Enforcement Review Board that will serve as a direct link for Compton residents to communicate and submit concerns regarding interactions with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The focus on the Board is to ensure accountability with the Sheriff’s Department and the residents by changing the current chain of command established by the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department to receive and investigate officer-involved complaints. The Board will also independently assess and evaluate allegations of misconduct with the Compton Sheriff Department and will coordinate directly with the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission for follow-up and further action, including accessing the subpoena power of the oversight commission as deemed necessary.
“Compton residents should feel safe in their own community and trust law enforcement officials who are sworn to keep our community safe,” said Compton Mayor Aja Brown. “The Board will be a vital resource for residents to ensure that the $22 million we spend on law enforcement is implemented effectively and ensure that sheriff deputies treat us with mutual respect and decency.”
Specifically, the Board’s duties include:
• Hold public meetings to receive and review citizen complaints
• Track and forward citizen complaints to the Sheriff’s Department and/or the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission
• Recommend policy and training reforms based on the context of complaints
• Discuss issues and formulate recommendations that are consistent with community values and in line with innovative community safety practices
“We are open and welcome full collaboration with the Sheriff’s Department and our city through this newly created Law Enforcement Review Board aimed at increasing transparency and accountability,” said City Attorney Damon Brown. “Trust of law enforcement is a foundational necessity in keeping a community protected.”
The Board’s installation is in response to a video recording of three sheriff deputies using excessive force on a Compton resident, Dalvin Price on May 31. Asia Hall, a Compton resident who recorded the incident, has reported harassment by deputies from the Compton LA County Sheriff Station since the video was released. Once the video circulated throughout the community, Brown and members of the City Council called on Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to address the incident where deputies were filmed using excessive force.
Mayor Brown and City Attorney Brown delivered a letter to the LA County Sheriff Department and Sheriff Villanueva with demands that included:
• The immediate removal of all deputies involved in the May 31, incident from Compton Station
• Replacement of those deputies with service officers who will treat residents with the dignity and respect they deserve; and
• Assurances that the Sheriff’s Department will not permit or tolerate any intimidation of victims or witnesses to any misconduct and will adequately address instances where such retaliation is discovered following diligent monitoring and investigation
“We expect law enforcement to protect Compton residents and are prepared to work with the Sheriff’s Department to address concerns from the community directly,” said City Manager Craig Cornwell. “Creating an amicable pipeline between residents and the Sheriff Department will help us hold law enforcement accountable to residents.”
The measure passed unanimously. Brown and the City Council will be appointing 11 members from the community.