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Phoenix City Council delays budget vote until Monday

(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Kinnerup)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council agreed on Wednesday to delay a budget vote which would include funds for a civilian oversight board of the Phoenix Police Department.

Following a recess, council members and Mayor Kate Gallego agreed to resume discussions of the proposed budget and other items during a special session on Monday at 11 a.m.

A plan from Councilman Carlos Garcia to utilize the civilian oversight board the City Council adopted in February called for $3 million in funding.

The decision came after protesters gathered outside the Phoenix City Council chambers calling for the city’s police department to be defunded and instead have funds funneled into programs like the civilian oversight board.

Demonstrators could be seen observing the 8 p.m. curfew as it took effect.

Protesters have been gathering in downtown Phoenix and across the nation for the past week to call for police reform in response to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and Dion Johnson in Phoenix.

Garcia’s plan for the oversight board called for “two new city bodies —  a Community Review Board and the Office of Accountability and Transparency — that are independent from the police department, driven by community, transparent in their work to the public and investigative in their functions,” as described in the agenda for the City Council’s policy session.

The City Council approved Garcia’s plan after Gallego withdrew her favored course of action right before the vote. The public comment overwhelming called for implementation of Garcia’s plan.

That proposal passed in a 5-4 vote.

Councilman Michael Nowakowski said at the time he had been waiting a long time for a civilian review board to be created.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who voted against the measure, called it “the most radical, extremist anti-police plan in the whole damn country.”

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