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Days after tie vote in Scott case, Charlotte mayor fills empty police review board seat

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, shown here with CMPD Chief Kerr Putney and other city officials following the Keith Lamont Scott shooting last year, filled a vacant seat on the CMPD Citizens Review Board.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, shown here with CMPD Chief Kerr Putney and other city officials following the Keith Lamont Scott shooting last year, filled a vacant seat on the CMPD Citizens Review Board. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts has appointed Magaliz Giraud to the Citizens Review Board, a group of 11 volunteer members who have some oversight over the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Giraud, a U.S. Army veteran and United Way volunteer, was added to the list of board members on the city’s website Wednesday – one week after the board heard the case of Keith Lamont Scott, who was shot and killed Sept. 20 by CMPD Officer Brentley Vinson. The police shooting led to days of protests in Charlotte’s Uptown streets last year.

In Scott’s case, the Citizens Review Board met shorthanded with eight members– in addition to the vacant seat at the time, two other members of the board were absent. A minimum of six members is required for the board to meet and hold votes.

Giraud’s appointment fills a seat left vacant at the end of June 2017 when a board member was removed for poor attendance at prior meetings.

Robert’s spokesperson Gregg Watkins said the mayor was first informed of the vacancy on July 31. The Citizens Review Board began holding evidentiary hearings in Scott’s case on Aug. 8.

The even number of board members led to an inconclusive 4-4 vote in Scott’s case.

The board, which holds its hearings behind closed doors, split over whether CMPD Chief Kerr Putney acted appropriately in choosing to not discipline Vinson. Putney said two days after the shooting that he believed Vinson followed all police policy and procedure.

After three days of meeting last week, the Citizens Review Board announced it would send some policy change recommendations to CMPD but would not make those recommendations public.

Roberts has told the Observer she believes the Citizens Review Board’s recommendations should be made public. A police spokesman for Putney told the Observer the chief is considering releasing that information but has not yet received the recommendations.

Giraud, a Charlotte resident since 1996, has completed Citizen Academy trainings and educational classes at CMPD, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, Watkins told the Observer Wednesday.

Giraud was the founding president in 2008 of the Puerto Rican Cultural Society of Charlotte, public records show. State elections records indicate Giraud is a registered Democratic voter in Mecklenburg County.

Giraud could not be reached by the Observer on Wednesday.

The mayor’s office said Giraud, age 58, is married with two children.

Anna Douglas: 704-358-5078, @ADouglasNews

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