Ferguson Civilian Review Board (FCRB)
One of the responsibilities of the Ferguson Civilian Review Board, per ordinance, is to “…recommend disciplinary or other action for all investigations of complaints by members of the public against members of the police department…”
Recommendations are made to the Chief of Police after the review of FPD investigations of citizen complaints. If necessary, a review of any disciplinary files of the officer(s) involved in the complaint is also made. Recommendations made by the Board can be either accepted or rejected by the Chief of Police.
When recommendations are made they are announced during an open meeting and are recorded in the meeting minutes. Many recommendations are designed to improve the quality of FPD processes or the investigations that are conducted by FPD. Some recommendations are made for officer discipline. The sections below list recommendations that have been made, along with a reference to the complaint number and the date of the meeting during which the recommendation was announced. Meeting minutes can be consulted for more details.
Complaint 19-005, announced September 14, 2020:
- Recommend that the training complies with the requirements of the Consent Decree
- Recommend that a certificate of completion be placed in the Board files at City Hall
Complaint 19-006, announced September 14, 2020:
- A script for non-emergency calls be created and placed at the dispatcher desk(s)
- Roll call training be given to all officers on the non-emergency call script
- Non-emergency calls be recorded and kept for the same time period as emergency calls
Complaint 20-002, announced April 5, 2021:
- Concerning the incident itself, to avoid this type of complaint in the future:
- Leave contact cards in case the citizen has additional questions or information to supply.
- Let the citizen know what the next steps are in the investigation.
- Concerning the submission of complaint forms: in order to take every opportunity to use Mediation to resolve complaints, when the section on whether the complainant is willing to engage in Mediation is not filled out, contact the complainant to clarify their answer.
- Concerning the complaint investigative process: record phone interviews on BWC video with the speakerphone on so that both sides of the conversation can be heard.
Complaint 20-006, announced May 3, 2021:
- The board felt that the officer who conducted the interview with the complainant treated the complainant more as a suspect than as a citizen filing a complaint. Instead of simply asking questions and noting the responses, the interviewing officer repeatedly tried to explain and justify the behavior of the officer on whom the complaint was filed, and became argumentative at times. For this reason the board recommends that the interviewing officer attend NACOLE-sponsored, or equivalent, training in how to conduct interviews with complainants. The board also recommends that this type of training be extended first to all officers at sergeant and above, and then to all FPD officers.
- Noting that there was no BWC recording of the interview with the officer on whom the complaint was filed, but only a written account of the interview plus a request for the officer to put his account of the incident in a written report, the board recommends that BWC recordings be made of all officer interviews, as is currently being done on complainant interviews.
- The board recommends that the officer who assisted the complainant by picking up and delivering to the complainant a video of the incident be commended for his professionalism and display of community policing.
Complaint 21-001, announced September 13, 2021:
- Conclusions were made during the investigation that were not supported by facts. Facts should be corroborated by evidence, such as body-worn camera video, witness or officer statements, etc. Conclusions made without supporting evidence are only opinions. The Board recommends that opinions, when offered, should be stated as such.
Complaint 18-001, announced October 4, 2021:
- The board recommends that FPD ensures that officers are instructed to introduce themselves at the beginning of any encounter with the public and to leave their contact card at the end of the encounter. The board also recommends that complaint investigations reference the specific policy violations (General Orders) on which dispositions are made.
Complaint 20-001, announced February 7, 2022:
- The board further notes that the complaint investigation contained no written statement from the officer-involved; there were no interviews of any other officers who were on the scene; and that some statements on the report were not objective and could be subject to interpretation, specifically the statement on page 2 of Officer/Incident Report #19-04618 which stated, “[Complainant] advised that the money was the only thing missing, despite several laptop computers inside the residence and an iPad laying in a chair next to the purse.”
Complaint 19-004, announced November 2, 2020:
- Recommend FPD discuss with the officer how implicit bias relates to this complaint
Complaint 19-006, announced September 14, 2020:
- Recommend the officer receive discipline