The city of Tupelo will now have a police advisory board to provide input from citizens on police matters.
The move comes after a city police officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of an unarmed black man last spring. MPB's Mark Rigsby reports.
Tupelo City Council voted this week 5-to-1 to create the board. Don Lewis is the city's chief operations officer.
"It's to establish some communications throughout the city that we may have not had in the past. Make sure people feel the department is being transparent, and we're here to work with all citizens."
Lewis says the mayor and council will appoint members to make up the nine-person board.
"The powers and such are limited to listening and making recommendations that can or do not have to be enforced by the chief."
Attorney Carlos Moore represents the family of Ronnie Shumpert. Shumpert was shot and killed by Tupelo police officer Tyler Cook 10 months ago, after Shumpert fled a traffic stop. A grand jury did not indict Officer Cook for the incident. Moore says the creation of the police advisory board is a good first step to engage the community.
"The family is pleased that the city has taken this measure. The police advisory board will not have all the powers that we would have prefered, but it is a step in the right direction."
Moore says the family is seeking $35 million in damages in a lawsuit that is scheduled to go to trial at the end of the year.