City Council Passes Historic Police Accountability Board Resolution From People’s Peaceful Protest

In a marathon meeting lasting more than six hours, Geneva City Council voted 5-4 to pass a resolution establishing a public hearing for a local law establishing a Police Accountability Board in the City of Geneva. Councilors Tom Burrall (Ward 1), Ken Camera (Ward 4), John Pruett (Ward 6), Jan Regan (Ward 3),  and Laura Salamendra (Ward 5) voted in favor of the historic resolution, which was one of eight resolutions authored by BLM Geneva: The People’s Peaceful Protest and presented by Ward 5 City Councilor Laura Salamendra.

The Geneva community has been calling for a Police Accountability Board (PAB) since at least 2011. And in the wee hours of July 2, 2020, city government finally took the first step toward making a PAB a reality.

Forty-one residents spoke during public comment in favor of passing all eight resolutions, while nine residents spoke against the resolutions.

Three of the eight resolutions passed without any changes. Two passed with minor modifications, one passed with significant modifications, and two were tabled.

First Black Lives Matter march in Geneva, May 31, 2020
Results Of Votes For The Eight Resolutions From BLM Geneva: The People’s Peaceful Protest

1. Resolution #30-2020 Resolution Creating Process and Timeline for Revising the City of Geneva
Police Department Body Camera Policy

PASSED 5-4 

(YES votes: Burrall, Camera, Pruett, Regan, Salamendra)

(NO votes: Gaglianese, Noone, Pealer, Valentino)

Councilor Jan Regan, Ward 3, Voted Yes on Police Accountability Board Resolution #34-2020

2. Resolution #31-2020 Resolution Ensuring Diversity and Standards for the Geneva Community Compact Committee

This resolution was amended twice.

First, Councilor Pruett suggested an amendment adding the LGBTQ community to be represented on the Compact Committee. This amendment passed 9-0.

Next, Councilor Pealer suggested an amendment removing the names “Black Lives Matter” and “Peoples Peaceful Protest” from the document and replacing them with the term “the black community” due to the group not being “sanctioned.” This amendment passed 5-4, with Councilors Burrall, Gaglianese, Noone, Pealer and Pruett in favor.

AMENDED RESOLUTION PASSED 7-2

(YES votes: Burrall, Camera, Noone, Pealer, Pruett, Regan, Salamendra)

(NO votes: Gaglianese, Valentino)

Councilor Laura Salamendra, Ward 5, Voted Yes on Police Accountability Board Resolution #34-2020

3. Resolution #32-2020 Resolution Requiring Collection and Reporting of Geneva Police Department Data Metrics

Councilor Pealer suggested an amendment to extend deadlines for GPD to provide data, and to remove the word “demands” and replace it with “requires.” This amendment passed 7-2, with Pruett and Salamendra opposed.

AMENDED RESOLUTION PASSED 8-1

(YES votes: Burrall, Camera, Noone, Pealer, Pruett, Regan, Salamendra, Valentino)

(NO VOTES: Gaglianese)

Councilor Ken Camera, Ward 4, Voted Yes on Police Accountability Board Resolution #34-2020

4. Resolution #33-2020 Resolution Prohibiting Execution of “No·Knock Warrants” in the City of Geneva
City Attorney Emil Bove began the discussion by stating that city council doesn’t have authority to direct the police to follow specific policy, and instead says the resolution should be amended to “express concern” about no-knock policies.

Councilor Noone voted to table the resolution, Pealer seconded. “Tabling” means that it will be discussed and reviewed, and then voted on next month.

RESOLUTION TABLED 8-1

(YES votes: Burrall, Camera, Gaglianese, Noone, Pealer, Pruett, Regan, Salamendra, Valentino)

(NO votes: Salamendra)


5. Resolution #34-2020 RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A PUBLIC HEARING FOR A LOCAL LAW ESTABLISHING A POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD IN THE CITY OF GENEVA

PASSED 5-4

(YES votes: Burrall, Camera, Pruett, Regan, Salamendra)

(NO votes: Gaglianese, Noone, Pealer, Valentino)


6. Resolution #35-2020 Resolution Establishing Police Budget Advisory Board

PASSED 5-4

(YES votes: Burrall, Camera, Pruett, Regan, Salamendra)

(NO votes: Gaglianese, Noone, Pealer, Valentino)

Councilor Tom Burrall, Ward 1, Voted Yes on Police Accountability Board Resolution #34-2020

WITHDRAWN – Resolution #36-2020 Resolution Adopting Community Review of School Resource Officers

This resolution was withdrawn by BLM Geneva: The People’s Peaceful Protest prior to the meeting.

Read The People’s Peaceful Protest’s full statement on the withdrawal of this resolution.

RESOLUTION WITHDRAWN

7. Resolution #37-2020 Resolution Revising the Geneva Police Department’s Use of Force Policy

Councilor Noone voted to table the amendment, Pealer seconded.

RESOLUTION TABLED 8-1

(YES votes: Burrall, Camera, Gaglianese, Noone, Pealer, Pruett, Regan, Salamendra, Valentino)

(NO VOTES: Salamendra)

Councilor John Pruett, Ward 6, Voted Yes on Police Accountability Board Resolution #34-2020

8. Resolution #38-2020 Resolution Establishing a Whistleblower Protection Policy for the City of Geneva
Councilor Salamendra suggested an amendment to add language in one sentence of the resolution to provide clarity. Amendment passed 9-0.

PASSED 9-0

Believe!

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