Boulder’s Police Oversight Panel halts work after member’s removal by city council

Boulder Reporting Lab: Boulder’s Police Oversight Panel has temporarily stopped watchdogging internal investigations into officer misconduct, halting one of the city’s primary ways of ensuring police officer accountability through civilian oversight.

The decision came after the Boulder City Council voted last week to remove one of its members, Lisa Sweeney-Miran. The removal followed allegations from a group of residents —  later upheld by a special counsel — that she was biased against police. City code prohibits anyone with a “real or perceived bias” from serving on the panel. 

Following the vote, some members on the 10-person panel worried they, too, could be removed over similar allegations of bias. Others were concerned that their work, which includes making disciplinary recommendations to the city’s police chief, could be legally challenged. 

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