Bill Text: TX SB67 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to municipal civilian complaint review boards in certain municipalities.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-03 - Referred to Jurisprudence [SB67 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-SB67-Introduced.html
  87R805 SMT-F
 
  By: Miles S.B. No. 67
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to municipal civilian complaint review boards in certain
  municipalities.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle A, Title 5, Local Government Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 143A to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 143A. MUNICIPAL CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARDS IN
  CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES
  SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
         Sec. 143A.001.  APPLICABILITY. This chapter applies only to
  a municipality with a population of 200,000 or more.
         Sec. 143A.002.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Board" means a municipal civilian complaint
  review board.
               (2)  "Peace officer" means a peace officer described by
  Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, appointed or employed to
  serve as a peace officer for a municipality.
         Sec. 143A.003.  MUNICIPAL CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARD.
  A board is established in each municipality subject to this chapter
  to investigate complaints alleging peace officer misconduct.
  SUBCHAPTER B. MUNICIPAL CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARD
         Sec. 143A.051.  COMPOSITION OF BOARD. A board consists of
  five public members appointed as follows:
               (1)  two members appointed by the presiding officer of
  the governing body of the municipality, one of whom must be
  appointed from a list of municipal residents submitted to the
  presiding officer by the governing body of the municipality;
               (2)  one member appointed by the county judge of the
  county in which the municipality is wholly or primarily located;
               (3)  one member appointed by the police chief of the
  municipal police department; and
               (4)  one member appointed by the commissioners court of
  the county in which the municipality is wholly or primarily
  located.
         Sec. 143A.052.  INELIGIBILITY. A person is ineligible to
  serve as a board member if the person:
               (1)  is a municipal employee;
               (2)  holds a public office; or
               (3)  has experience as a law enforcement professional,
  including as:
                     (A)  a peace officer;
                     (B)  a criminal investigator;
                     (C)  a special agent; or
                     (D)  a managerial or supervisory employee with
  substantial policy discretion on law enforcement matters in a
  federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, other than as an
  attorney in a prosecutorial agency.
         Sec. 143A.053.  TERMS. A board member is appointed for a
  two-year term.
         Sec. 143A.054.  PRESIDING OFFICER. The presiding officer of
  the governing body of the municipality shall designate a board
  member to serve as the presiding officer of the board at the
  pleasure of the presiding officer of the governing body of the
  municipality.
         Sec. 143A.055.  GROUNDS FOR REMOVAL OF BOARD MEMBER. (a) A
  board member may be removed from a board if the member:
               (1)  is ineligible for membership under Section
  143A.052;
               (2)  cannot discharge the member's duties for a
  substantial part of the member's term because of illness or
  disability; or
               (3)  is absent from more than half of the regularly
  scheduled board meetings during a calendar year without an excuse
  approved by a majority vote of the board.
         (b)  The validity of an action of a board is not affected by
  the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a board member
  exists.
         (c)  If the executive director of a board or another board
  member has knowledge that a potential ground for removal exists,
  the executive director or board member shall notify the presiding
  officer of the board of the potential ground. The presiding officer
  shall then notify the presiding officer of the governing body of the
  municipality that a potential ground for removal exists. If the
  potential ground for removal involves the presiding officer of the
  board, the executive director or board member shall notify the next
  highest ranking officer of the board, who shall then notify the
  presiding officer of the governing body of the municipality that a
  potential ground for removal exists.
         Sec. 143A.056.  VACANCY. A vacancy on a board shall be
  filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original
  appointment.
         Sec. 143A.057.  COMPENSATION; EXPENSES. (a) A board member
  is entitled to a per diem of $150 for each day the member engages in
  board business. The total per diem a board member may receive
  during a fiscal year may not exceed $5,000.
         (b)  A board member is entitled to reimbursement for actual
  and necessary expenses incurred in performing the duties of the
  board.
  SUBCHAPTER C. GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES
         Sec. 143A.101.  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. A board shall employ an
  executive director if necessary to administer the policies of the
  board.
         Sec. 143A.102.  PERSONNEL. A board may employ personnel as
  necessary to exercise its powers and fulfill its duties under this
  chapter.
         Sec. 143A.103.  RULES. A board may adopt rules as necessary
  to implement this chapter.
  SUBCHAPTER D. INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS
         Sec. 143A.151.  INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS. A board may
  investigate a complaint that alleges peace officer misconduct
  involving:
               (1)  excessive use of force;
               (2)  improper use of power to threaten, intimidate, or
  otherwise mistreat a member of the public;
               (3)  a threat of force;
               (4)  an unlawful act, search, or seizure; or
               (5)  other abuses of authority.
         Sec. 143A.152.  FILING OR BOARD INITIATION OF COMPLAINT.  A
  complaint may be:
               (1)  filed under Section 143A.153; or
               (2)  initiated by a majority vote of the board.
         Sec. 143A.153.  COMPLAINT ALLEGING MISCONDUCT. (a) A person
  may file a complaint with a board alleging peace officer
  misconduct.
         (b)  A complaint must:
               (1)  be in writing;
               (2)  allege the peace officer engaged in misconduct
  described by Section 143A.151; and
               (3)  describe the alleged misconduct.
         (c)  A person may file a complaint regardless of whether the
  person is the alleged victim of the misconduct.
         Sec. 143A.154.  COMPLAINT REVIEW PROCEDURE. A board shall:
               (1)  develop a system to promptly and efficiently act
  on a complaint filed with the board;
               (2)  maintain information regarding:
                     (A)  the parties to each complaint;
                     (B)  the subject matter of each complaint;
                     (C)  the results of the investigation of a
  complaint; and
                     (D)  the disposition of each complaint;
               (3)  make information available describing the board's
  procedures for complaint investigation and resolution;
               (4)  take reasonable measures to ensure the
  confidentiality of all complainants;
               (5)  periodically notify the parties to the complaint
  in writing of the status of the complaint; and
               (6)  provide the parties to the complaint with the
  name, address, and telephone number of an individual to contact in
  order to give or obtain information regarding the complaint.
         Sec. 143A.155.  SUBPOENAS. (a) A board may issue a subpoena
  to compel the attendance of a witness or the production of any book,
  record, or other document reasonably necessary to conduct an
  investigation. A subpoena must relate to a matter under
  investigation by the board.
         (b)  If a person refuses to comply with a subpoena issued
  under this section, the board may apply to a court for an order to
  compel the person to comply with the subpoena. Failure to comply
  with the court order is punishable as contempt.
         Sec. 143A.156.  DISMISSAL OF COMPLAINT; GROUNDS FOR CLOSING
  INVESTIGATION. A board may dismiss a complaint and close an
  investigation without reaching a final determination if the person
  who filed the complaint or the alleged victim of misconduct
  requests that the board dismiss the complaint.
         Sec. 143A.157.  INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINT BY MUNICIPAL
  ATTORNEY. (a)  A board shall forward each complaint filed with the
  board to the municipal attorney.
         (b)  The municipal attorney shall investigate the complaint
  by:
               (1)  interviewing and obtaining a statement from:
                     (A)  the complainant;
                     (B)  each peace officer who is the subject of the
  complaint; and
                     (C)  each witness to the alleged misconduct; and
               (2)  obtaining any documentary or other evidence
  relevant to the investigation.
         (c)  The municipal attorney shall complete the investigation
  of a complaint not later than the 120th day after the date the
  municipal attorney receives the complaint from the board.
         Sec. 143A.158.  COMPLAINT DETERMINATION AFTER
  INVESTIGATION. (a)  After an investigation of a complaint is
  complete, the municipal attorney shall forward the results of the
  investigation to the board or a panel of at least three board
  members. The board or panel shall review the case and make a
  determination on each allegation in the complaint that has not been
  dismissed by the board. The determination of the board or panel
  must be made not later than the 180th day after the date the board
  receives the complaint.
         (b)  The board shall state the board's determination
  regarding each allegation in a complaint as:
               (1)  substantiated if the board finds by a
  preponderance of the evidence that the person who is the subject of
  the complaint committed the alleged misconduct;
               (2)  exonerated if the board finds by a preponderance
  of the evidence that the person who is the subject of the complaint
  engaged in the action alleged in the complaint but the action was
  not misconduct because the action was lawful and proper;
               (3)  unfounded if the board finds by a preponderance of
  the evidence that the person who is the subject of the complaint did
  not commit the alleged misconduct;
               (4)  unsubstantiated if the board finds that the
  available evidence is insufficient to make a finding by a
  preponderance of the evidence under Subdivision (1), (2), or (3);
  or
               (5)  nonactionable if the board finds that the person
  who is the subject of the complaint is no longer a peace officer or
  cannot be identified.
         Sec. 143A.159.  NOTICE OF BOARD'S DETERMINATION. (a)  A
  board shall notify the parties to the complaint of the board's
  determination.
         (b)  The board shall notify the employer of the peace officer
  who is the subject of the complaint of the board's determination.
  If the board finds that a complaint is substantiated, the board may
  recommend an appropriate disciplinary action to the employer. If
  the employer fails to take disciplinary action against the peace
  officer before the 30th day after the date the board notifies the
  employer of the board's determination, the board shall forward the
  case to the attorney representing the state or to the appropriate
  United States attorney.
         SECTION 2.  The initial members of a municipal civilian
  complaint review board shall be appointed as provided by Section
  143A.051, Local Government Code, as added by this Act, not later
  than October 1, 2021.
         SECTION 3.  The change in law made by Chapter 143A, Local
  Government Code, as added by this Act, applies only to misconduct
  that occurs on or after October 1, 2021. Misconduct that occurs
  before October 1, 2021, is covered by the law in effect when the
  misconduct occurred, and the former law is continued in effect for
  that purpose.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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