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Syracuse CRB Administrator Uncertain Chauvin Verdict will Positively Impact Culture of Policing

Courtesy of Ranette Releford

The Administrator of the Syracuse Citizen Review Board sees a number of areas for change after the guilty verdicts to former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.   Ranette Releford handles complaints against Syracuse Police and has mixed emotions following Tuesday’s verdicts.   

However, she says the scrutiny must now shift to the other three officers on the scene who didn’t intervene to stop the killing of George Floyd.

“Are you going to be willing to admit that there is still something wrong in which you did not at that point in time?   And how do you live with yourself knowing that you did not and you could not; even if there was a policy that didn’t say you should… as a human being, watching this happen.”

She questions if the verdict will really make an impact on the culture of policing or relationships between the community and the police.  Releford often fields complaints about the County Sheriff’s Department, State Police and other jurisdictions like Jamesville and Liverpool that are out of her purview.   She feels that neither the updates to police reforms in the city or the county plan go far enough.

“I believe that we have a draft plan and we have a proposal that does outline some things that we can do and some things have started to be implemented with regard to other agencies appearing on the scene with police officers when there is a person that is in crisis.  But, in terms of accountability… no.” 

She says the CRB settled two cases last year that cost the city $400,000, and yet the CRB budget is only around $136,000.  Releford says if they had more money, the board would be able to hire another investigator for cases filed by citizens to investigate officers and increase accountability.  To find out more about the CRB or to contact them click here or visit its Facebook page.