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Arlington County approves ordinance, moving forward with Community Oversight Board

WJLA – Washington D.C. logo WJLA – Washington D.C. 7/23/2021 Anna-Lysa Gayle
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Following George Floyd's death, police departments across the nation are taking a closer look at their handling of police misconduct. 

On Wednesday, the Arlington County Board passed an ordinance to implement a Community Oversight Board (COB) with subpoena power.

In a meeting, that lasted for four hours, the community was divided over whether subpoena power should be granted.

SEE ALSO | Arlington Public Schools board votes to remove police officers from school hallways

“I feel adding any additional pressure....would lead to more highly qualified officers leaving the department,” said Arlington County officer Tracey Bates.

“To be clear, the NAACP is not anti-police,” said Arlington NAACP Vice President Michael Hemminger.

“What’s factual is that we’ve had racial profiling going on in our community for a long time,” said Arlington NAACP President Julius “JD” Spain Sr.

The road to a COB is still months away, the Arlington County Board will still need to be trained on the process.

After the vote, Officer Tracey Bates, a spokesperson for the Arlington County Police Union, said, "Though the decision made is not the outcome we would like, we are all about compromise and we feel this is the best outcome for everyone involved."

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