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The City Council’s Public Safety & Land Use Committee agreed Thursday to send a plan to strengthen police oversight back to the drawing board. Their vote followed pushback by supporters of Measure B, the successful November ballot that promised to create a Commission on Police Practices with the ability to independently investigate police use-of-force incidents, misconduct allegations and make broad policy recommendations, among other powers.
Dozens of people phoned in to the committee meeting to express concerns that Measure B’s implementation ordinance, written by the city attorney’s office and released earlier this week, fell short of meeting the goals of the initiative. They urged the committee to consider a different implementation ordinance written by Andrea St. Julian, co-chair of San Diegans for Justice and author of Measure B.
At a community meeting Tuesday evening, St. Julian described the city attorney’s draft as having “the potential to absolutely gut” the new commission.
The committee chair, Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe, emphasized that the draft was just that — a draft — and promised to work with Measure B’s supporters and the city attorney’s office to revise the ordinance to address community concerns. Her colleagues agreed.
“We all want the Commission on Police Practices to provide very robust oversight of the police department,” said Councilwoman Marni Von Wilpert.