Press Releases


Office of the City Controller Creates Community Accountability Council to Advise on Office’s Independent Review of the City’s Response to Civil Unrest

For immediate release: Monday, July 27, 2020

Contact: Jolene Nieves Byzon, 215-300-1071

 

Office of the City Controller Creates Community Accountability Council to Advise on Office’s Independent Review of the City’s Response to Civil Unrest

 

Controller Rhynhart calls for application period open through August 9.

 

Philadelphia, PA – The Office of the City Controller announced the creation of the Community Advisory Accountability Council, a coalition of community and nonprofit leaders, business owners and residents of Philadelphia that will advise and support the Office’s independent review of the City of Philadelphia’s response to the civil unrest following George Floyd’s murder. The Council will be chaired by Reverend Mark Tyler, Pastor, Mother Bethel A.M.E., and Jeff Brown, President and CEO, Brown’s Superstores.

“The City Controller’s Office is charged with ensuring that taxpayer money is used efficiently and effectively, for the benefit of all Philadelphians. The killing of George Floyd – and the systemic racism that led to it – resulted in weeks of protests across Philadelphia. The City’s response to those protests have left many of us with serious questions about the deployment of resources and the tactics used in response to those protests. To answer those questions, my office is conducting an independent review analyzing the taxpayer-funded response, including the operational and resource deployment and the tactics used during the deployment. The goal is to determine what went right and what must be handled differently in the future,” said City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart. “I believe that the perspective of affected Philadelphians is vital to this review. As such, we’ve created the Community Advisory and Accountability Council to ensure the voices of Philadelphians, particularly those who were impacted by the City’s response, aren’t lost in this process.”

On June 4th, City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart announced an independent review of the City of Philadelphia’s operational and resource deployment and tactics used during the civil unrest that followed George Floyd’s murder. The independent review is being conducted by Ballard Spahr LLP and AT-RISK International, Inc. (AT-RISK). Ballard Spahr and AT-RISK were selected for their complementary experience in investigations and emergency management operations and resource deployment, respectively. The firms’ work will be informed by the Community Advisory and Accountability Council.

While the Community Advisory and Accountability Council’s co-chairs have been selected, the Council’s members will be determined through an application/nomination process. All Philadelphia residents are welcome to apply, however preference will be given to community leaders and activists, nonprofit leaders, and business owners from the neighborhoods most affected during the civil unrest, including but not limited to:

  • 52nd Street corridor in West Philadelphia;
  • Philadelphia Mills in Northeast Philadelphia;
  • Aramingo Avenue in Port Richmond;
  • Bakers Centre on Fox Street in Allegheny West;
  • Columbus Boulevard in South Philadelphia;
  • Kensington;
  • Broad and Olney in North Philadelphia; and
  • Center City.

In addition to applications, nomination forms will also be accepted. Applications and nomination forms are available on the Controller’s website. Applications are due August 9, 2020. Applications will be reviewed by the Controller’s Office senior staff and the Council co-chairs. The full Community Advisory and Accountability Council will be announced by August 19.

Once finalized, the Council will meet regularly, receiving updates on the investigation by Ballard Spahr and AT-RISK. The Council will provide feedback throughout the review and on the release of the findings and recommendations.

The final report will be released publicly once complete.

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Ballard Spahr an AmLaw 100 law firm with more than 650 lawyers in 15 U.S. offices—serves clients across industry sectors in litigation, transactions, regulatory compliance, and investigations. We partner with clients—from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, governments, and non-profit organizations—to deliver strategic counsel and dynamic thinking that helps them navigate challenges and position for success. The firm combines a comprehensive scope of practice with strong regional market knowledge. It also is nationally recognized in the development and use of innovative technology to drive efficiency, transparency, and results. Please visit www.ballardspahr.com.

AT-RISK International is a global protection agency specializing in security services for individuals and organizations. Our team of experts creates and maintains secure environments by providing threat analysis, protection, investigations, consulting, intelligence and security training services. Since 2003, our mission has been to discretely mitigate security threats before they occur. Through advanced research, analysis and preparations, we protect companies and individuals throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Asia Pacific.