RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia House of Delegates advanced legislation Friday that would require cities and counties across the state to establish civilian review boards with the authority to investigate citizen complaints and take disciplinary action against police officers.
The bill sponsored by House Majority Leader Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, sets a deadline of July 1, 2021, for localities to set up the review boards, which have become one of the leading police reforms pushed by protesters across the country since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
During Friday’s debate, Republican Del. Tony Wilt proposed an amendment to the bill to require anyone appointed to serve on a civilian review board to observe a law enforcement officer for at least 24 hours, including going on a ride-along with police.
That amendment was defeated after Herring said it should be up to each locality to decide what kind of training board members receive. The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police opposes the bill, saying it should be left up to individual cities and counties to decide if they want to set up civilian review boards.