Freedom Socialist Party Joins Call for Civilian Police Oversight Board

Durham LopezI spotted this ringing endorsement for adding a fifth layer of Anaheim Police Department oversight in the form of a civilian police oversight board: the Freedom Socialist Party!

The Freedom Socialist Party presidential ticket of Stephen Durham and Christina Lopez seized on the issue last year:

The weekend of July 21 saw another chapter in the long history of racist police violence in Southern California, with Anaheim police shooting to death two young Latino men. The Freedom Socialist Party campaign of Stephen Durham for president and Christina López for vice president condemns the extreme abuses of police power that ended the lives of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo. The brutal abuse continued with police reaction to protests of the killings, starting immediately after the shooting of the unarmed Diaz

The Freedom Socialist ticket takes the idea a step further and calls for the oversight board to be elected, have investigators, subpoena power – even a prosecutor:

The Durham-López campaign demands that city officials immediately rein in the cops and that prosecutors file criminal charges against the officers involved in the deaths. The campaign stands for the country-wide establishment of local elected civilian review boards over the cops. These boards should be administratively and financially independent of the police and have the authority to make policy, to conduct investigations and subpoena witnesses, and to discipline and fire police officers who abuse and kill. And they should have the services of an independent special prosecutor at their disposal.

Elected civilian review boards will not end police violence. To achieve that will take a changeover to a new system that does not rely on police to protect the wealthy and their interests against workers and the poor. But these boards would reduce police abuse, making life better for its main targets: strikers, political activists, the homeless, and people of color — especially those who are young and male.

They may have been vaporized in last year’s campaign, but who knows? Maybe we will see Durham and Lopez at the July 21 Riotapalooza March or at a future council meeting.


  1. “Lay persons lack a sufficient understanding of police practices and operating conditions to knowledgeably perform a meaningful evaluation. This would be similar to an automobile mechanic being chosen to evaluate the work of a surgeon.”

    “Even having former law enforcement personnel would present several different problems. Counter productive to the notion of having “knowledgeable” people involved in the process is the problem of “perishable skills,” and “stale” knowledge. Police work is a dynamic process which is impacted by continuously evolving tactics, equipment, theories, statutory law, case law, policies, and other variables. The final option would be to train/educate civilian board members or investigators to a level comparable to sworn officers/investigators. This too, is flawed, however, as it is ludicrous to suggest that a student is qualified to accurately evaluate the performance of a practitioner.”

    – Officer Bill –

  2. Does anyone really care what Jose Solario says?

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