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Des Moines City Council discusses third-party review board for police department

After Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement shared a video of what they say is DMPD using excessive force, Des Moines City Council set up a review meeting.

DES MOINES, Iowa — After Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) shared a video of what they say is the Des Moines Police Department using excessive force on a Black man with intellectual disabilities, residents shared their concerns at Monday evening's Des Moines City Council meeting

"I've been angry and disgusted with the Des Moines Police Department's behavior for a number of years now. this is not an isolated incident. this is an ongoing pattern of abuse," said Brad Titus.

Mayor Frank Conwie said he shares the community's interest to strengthen DMPD's operations and policies. He wishes to maintain the public safety of the city's residents and what they expect and deserve.

"I'm directing and in agreement, I think with a majority of our council, to direct the city manager to schedule a city council work session no later than next month to address two key issues that we believe could assist our police department and better to better serve the Des Moines neighbors and residents," Cownie said.

The two key issues the mayor hopes to focus this work session on: consideration of transforming the community policing, code enforcement policy, and practice review committee as well as considering a separate board or commission to do so; plus the consideration of a third-party review board, something Councilmember Connie Boesen has fought for in the past

"I think having somebody from the outside looking in can give an independent look when you're involved with it. And I think it would give everybody a better context and a better feeling on what's been going on and what's happening," she said.

Brad Titus with CCI thinks the implementation of a third-party advisory board is necessary, and he believes so is a third-party investigation.

"We're demanding a third-party investigation. Accreditation is welcome, it is not a third-party investigation. We need a third-party investigation of the ongoing inappropriate behaviors of the DMPD," he said.

City council will hold a meeting no later than May to discuss whether or not to move forward with creating a third-party review board. Meanwhile, CCI continues to call for the removal of Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert.

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