PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - The scene of a deadly shooting involving a Palm Beach County deputy hasn’t played out in more than 9 months.
“It’s been quiet for a while, but it just takes one little thing to start everything all over again,” said Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor.
As a result, she wants citizens to have a say when a deputy pulls the trigger.
“It would allow a fresh set of ideas to look at some of the things that has caused some issues.”
But a citizen review board would lack any real power and authority according to county staff who recently researched the issue.
The issue came up after a joint investigation with the Palm Beach Post identified problems with how the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office investigates itself. In an unprecedented investigation we found, over the past 15 years, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies have disproportionately shot at unarmed black men. Nearly all shootings involving a deputy since 2000 were ruled justified.
The citizen review board would not be allowed to conduct an investigation while there is an ongoing PBSO investigation on the same event.
“Legally we would not be able to make the sheriff give us information,” said Taylor who proposed the citizen review board as a way to rebuild trust between the community and law enforcement.
Publicly, the sheriff hasn't supported the idea of a citizen review board.
“They're expensive. The experts will tell you they don't have the expertise and quite frankly they don't have the authority,” said Sheriff Ric Bradshaw in the past.