The Birmingham Civilian Review Board website is not operational

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The Birmingham Civil Review Board website is currently not operational as of Thursday afternoon.

The council, responsible for accepting and considering grievances against Birmingham police, did not respond to media inquiries about the website outage at the time of this article’s publication.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin established the Birmingham Civilian Review Board in April 2021 to “improve relations between the community at large and the Birmingham Police Department”, according to the city’s top official. The executive order creating the council was issued nearly a year after the death of George Floyd sparked protests against police brutality across the country, including in the Magic City. The move came just months before Woodfin was re-elected to a second term.

Since its inception, the council has done little to achieve its stated purpose. Initial reports indicated that the commission would begin accepting complaints against police officers from citizens in July 2021. The Civil Review Board’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, which was previously available on the website entity, said processing of complaints would begin in October 2021. The city’s Peace and Police website said “digital complaint forms will soon be available on the Office of Peace and Politics website , and paper forms will also be available from the Office of Peace and Policy.”

Despite this time provided, the board was delayed in accepting these grievances, only providing a means to do so after CBS 42 reported the delay.

The council’s problems also extend to its members.

When the creation of the council was first announced in April 2021, a full list of members was also compiled by city officials. A five-member board, the body must have a former judge or prosecutor, a Birmingham resident, a retired officer, a criminal defense lawyer and a non-executive member in its ranks to serve as chairman.

To fill those roles, Woodfin cast former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, the Reverend Lawrence Conoway, former police chief Annetta Dunn, defense attorney Victor Revill, and activist T. Marie King. However, Vance’s image was later removed from the council’s website, with one position listed as vacant.

Neither Vance nor the Woodfin office responded to questions about Vance’s position on the board sent as early as October 2021.

At press time, the board did not respond to additional questions about the vacancy and the number of complaints received and investigated by the entity.

Under the executive order creating the board, Woodfin has the ability to name a replacement for Vance on the board at any time.

The form needed to file a complaint against a Birmingham police officer, which was available on the CRB website, is below.

Once completed and signed, it can be mailed to the following address. Complaints can also be called at (205) 254-2118, according to the council, although that number is a general number for various municipal offices.

Birmingham Civil Review Board, 1200 Tuscaloosa Ave, Birmingham, AL, 35211

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