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Phoenix councilman says delayed police oversight vote disrupts progress

(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)

PHOENIX — Phoenix City Councilman Carlos Garcia said Thursday that the decision to delay a budget vote that included funds for a civilian oversight board of the Phoenix Police Department disrupts progress regarding the hot-button issue.

The Phoenix City Council on Wednesday decided to table the vote until Monday, even as protesters gathered outside the chambers calling for the police department to be defunded and instead have funds funneled into programs like the civilian oversight board.

Garcia’s plan to to utilize the civilian oversight board, which the City Council voted to adopt in February, calls for $3 million in funding.

“I was disappointed. I think just like those officers kneeling, this is a way to continue this conversation,” Garcia told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

Protesters have gathered in downtown Phoenix for a week in response to the in-custody deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and Dion Johnson in Phoenix.

Garcia has been among those protesters, who said he has been out there so he can help do his part in enacting change.

He believes his plan, which calls for the review board and an independent office of accountability and transparency, would be a good start.

“I think it’s what more people in the streets want to see,” Garcia said. “They want to see us attempting to address these issues.”

Garcia hopes the funding vote will be passed Monday.

The vote to adopt his plan won by a 5-4 margin in February.

“The city of Phoenix is ahead of the rest of the country and we’re ready to implement this program and work together to make it happen,” Garcia said. “And it’s something we can get done this week.”

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