ORLANDO, Fla. - Documents show not all of the internal affairs investigations completed by the Orlando Police Department are reviewed by the board established to help police the police.
According to city documents, the Orlando Police Citizens Review Board was established under the provision that "law enforcement must be held accountable for its actions, with input and involvement by the community it serves.”
Currently, there are nine members on the board, which meets on the first Tuesday of each month at Orlando City Hall.
The Orlando Police Department has completed or closed 49 internal affairs investigations into its workers since Jan. 1, 2018, but only five of those cases have been reviewed by the Orlando Police Citizens Review Board, according to documents obtained by News 6 through an open records request.
An Orlando police spokesman said the rest of the cases did not meet the criteria to move on to the review board.
According to the charter that created the board, it was created to "review citizen complaints and departmental investigations” of use of deadly force; alleged use of excessive force; any instance wherein police action results in death or serious injury; any complaint referred to it by the mayor, a city commissioner, chief administrative officer, chief of police or the civil service board; any complaint selected by a majority vote of the board for review.
News 6 showed the list of closed cases to the chairman of the citizen review panel, Eric Jackson.
“(We would like to see) at least a summary of these, and why or why they were not,” Jackson said.
He said the board wouldn’t know to select any of the cases because they don’t see a list, but he wishes they did.
“I think the Citizens Review Board has always served us well,” said newly appointed Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon.
“I don’t think the Citizens Review Board would have the time to review all of the investigations, so we want to make sure that the cases that don’t rise to the level where that type of review would take place, and that we continue that practice, so we can focus on the most important cases,” Rolon said.
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