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Columbia police review board member outlines reasons for resigning in email

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

A member of the Columbia Citizens Police Review Board outlined his reasons for resigning in an email to the city Monday.

Michael Williams resigned from the volunteer board Monday night before the City Council meeting. He is the third person to resign after two other board members called it quits in recent weeks.

ABC 17 News obtained a copy of his resignation letter through an open records request. In the email Williams wrote, "While I believe the board has a vital role in advocacy for the Columbia community, it would be nearly impossible to fulfill that mission with the current construction and patterns of interaction between board members."

Williams' resignation comes after heated debates at meetings in recent months between some board members and interactions with the city's police chief. 

Board members Delsie Bonaparte, and William Adkins resigned in July. In an email to the city clerk's office, Adkins questioned the board's responsibility. Meanwhile, Bonaparte cited personal reasons for leaving. .  

During Monday's City Council meeting, Mayor Barbara Buffaloe suspended the board until further notice.  The mayor didn't say when the board would resume its monthly meetings. The suspension comes as the board has several vacancies. Both Laura Gutierrez Perez and Robert Overmann's terms end in November. The board will then have to fill five spots.  

During last week's board meeting, members were also at odds over how work is getting done and some questioned the committee's focus.

The board was first created back in 2007. According to the board's 2021 annual report, the board reviewed six appeals from the police chief's decision of alleged police misconduct in 2021 and two in 2020. 

In addition to reviewing appeals, the board held eleven monthly public meetings and met with Chief Geoff Jones twice during the year.

Board members have not responded to a request for comment.

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Kennedy Miller

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