Alderman Terry Kennedy spoke about the brief history of St. Louis activist efforts in trying to bring a civilian review board to St. Louis Police department on at Schafly branch library Wednesday, September 25th, 2013. In the video, Kennedy explained that supporters in the Board of Aldermen tried to passed a Civilian Review Board around 2005-2006. In 2006, the Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance to enact civilian review board but Mayor Slay vetoed the bill.
In 2012, Missouri voters passed proposition A that allowed for local control of St. Louis Police Department. In section 8 of the propositions, prevents the records of police discipline from being open to the public. It reads
The civil service commission of the city may adopt rules and regulations appropriate for the unique operation of a police department. Such rules and regulations shall reserve exclusive authority over the disciplinary process and procedures affecting commissioned officers to the civil service commission...
The ACLU, Citizens Against Crimes and Repression, and other local activist alike want local control but they wanted civilian review Board as well. This lead to a split in of view points from local Democrats and progressive. State representative Karla May endorsed the Proposition A while the ACLU, Citizens Against Crimes and Repression and some local Democrats opposed it.
Alderman Kennedy was one of 4 people who sat on the Panel alone with Police Chief Dotson, Jamala Rogers of Citizens Against Crimes and Repression, and John Chasnoff of the ACLU. While Dotson supports a form of civilian review board, he opposes subpoena power because he fears officers would be at risk of being tried by public opinion. Dodson referred to audience to Internal Affairs Division for find out how the department is holding officers accountable and how many officers are being disciplined. Rogers argued that the power to subpoena power police records is important for an effective civilian review board.