ALEXANDRIA, VA-Earlier today Alexandria City Council passed the Community Police Review Board (CPRB) sponsored by Councilman Mo Seifeldein. Seilfeldein introduced the measure after the death of George Floyd last summer, and for the past year, he has listened to community leaders and stakeholders. The effort and council’s vote culminated in Virginia’s first independent CPRB.
In a statement, the councilman described the review board as “long overdue.” He spoke of the trauma people experience seeing continuous images of excessive and unjustified force by law enforcement officials.
“This has been the tragic reality of Black and Brown communities for years, and [it] has largely been ignored,” he said. “We cannot afford to ignore these challenges any longer because Black, Indigenous, and People of Color do indeed matter.”
The purpose of the CPRB is to investigate complaints of police misconduct, issue subpoenas, and making disciplinary recommendations. It will be comprised of seven city residents. An eighth member, not eligible to vote, will be consulted for advice as necessary.
The board must report its findings to City Council and the general public.
Seifeldein expressed his belief that with the CRPB, residents now have a safe space to file complaints of misconduct. This review board is expected to be the most progressive in the state.
“I hope the progress we made today begins to restore our residents trust in law enforcement,” he said. “I thank the residents who demanded this and urge them to continue to keep fighting for justice.”