After Police Shootings, Anaheim Launches Citizen Oversight Board

Back-to-back police shootings in the city in 2012, sparked unrest and calls for a citizen panel to oversee the department.

Donna Acevedo says she was confused when her son Joel was shot and killed by Anaheim police.

She still carries a poster of her son to protest in front of the police department once a month.

In july 2013, police said they acted in self defense when they shot the 21-year old when he jumped out of a stolen car and heard gunfire. A loaded gun was found near his body, police said.

The officer involved shooting was one of two that led to near riots outside City Hall.

The city is expected to create a public safety board made up of citizens to oversee both the police and fire departments.

Acevedo, a member of the Anaheim Community Coalition, a citizen activist group, opposes the plan.

"Its just another board of people... that's ineffective," she said. "There's nothing in there that has any power."

But Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait believes the board will hold public safety agencies accountable.

"Any organization ... it's good to have accountability and transparency," he said. "Police and fire are no different. I think it'll bring more trust to both."

Theresa Smith believes the oversight committee should be given subpoena powers and the ability to investigate officers. her son was shot and killed by anaheim police in 2009.

Smith, also of the Anaheim Community Coalition, says crime-solving is down, mostly because people don’t talk to the police.

After the unrest, Anaheim officials put some of their officers on the street, hoping to open a dialogue with the community.

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