The PAB will still have two vacancies and no alternate, but it is rebuilding its ranks from a low point of five members just four months ago.
The board — understaffed in recent months, with work piling up — would have two-thirds of its regular positions filled if Brent Blackaby is confirmed Tuesday.
The man accusing a BPD sergeant of a racist attack in July 2022 filed a claim notice in January of this year with the city of Berkeley. It is unclear who, if anyone, knew about the allegations before then. The city’s own civilian police watchdog agency didn’t hear about it until Tuesday.
Privacy advocates say the mass surveillance cameras — meant to deter auto thefts and other crimes — will endanger activists, religious minorities and those seeking reproductive health care they can’t get elsewhere.
Most details of the investigation, conducted by city-hired outside lawyers, will remain confidential. The police sergeant at the heart of the probe remains on leave but will return to work soon.
Lucky, a labrador-cocker spaniel mix, will be available for “animal-assisted interventions” in the Office of the Director of Police Accountability.
With half the Police Accountability Board’s seats empty, work has been piling up. There’s “a natural limit with how much a person can engage,” the board’s leader said.
Halpern ran an Albany tax practice, co-led the Racism and Criminal Justice Reform group and helped establish the city’s Police Accountability Board.
Cheryl Owens stepped down from the board the day after Jen Louis was appointed BPD chief. Another PAB member’s term ended Wednesday, meaning five seats on the nine-seat board are currently vacant.
The Berkeley City Council voted 5-4 not to wait for the outcome of the investigation. Seven members voted to confirm Jen Louis as Berkeley police chief; two abstained.
City Council is set to decide Tuesday whether to confirm Interim Chief Police Jen Louis with a permanent role at more than $300,000 annually. Accountability officials have asked for more time.
Corey Shedoudy grabbed attention in 2022 when he accused BPD’s bike squad of racism, anti-homeless sentiments and quota systems. His firing for staging a bike crash has been upheld by an independent arbitrator.