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Slay vetoes police board bill

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(UPI file photo)
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Francis Slay

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has vetoed a plan by city aldermen to establish a police civilian review board.

Instead, the mayor wants to create a panel similar to one proposed by the police board of commissioners two years ago.

Slay says the aldermanic plan would have never survived a legal challenge, because the police department is run by the state.

"Under state law, the city of St. Louis and the Board of Aldermen cannot impose anything upon the police board, nor can it cause the police board, or even ask the police board to abdicate its responsibilities and its duties under state law over disciplinary matters, which is what their bill would have done," Slay said.

Slay has asked the Board of Aldermen to recommend people for him to appoint to the civilian review board.

Zaki Baruti with the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression says the lack of subpoena power makes it useless.

"The ideal civilian oversight board would be one that's completely independent and effective, with subpoena power where the citizens are able to elect the representatives on the board."

Baruti says the mayor's move is callous, and will cause further racial division in the city.

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