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What's next for Phoenix's 1st civilian review board for police after council hits brakes

Councilman Carlos Garcia led creation of board and says it can be revived. But council runoff elections in March will determine whether he has the votes.

PHOENIX — Just a few months ago Phoenix's first civilian review board for police was on track to open its doors by the end of this year. 

But those doors will remain shut. 

In a 5-4 vote last week, the Phoenix City Council refused to enshrine the Office of Accountability and Transparency in the city code. 

Carlos Garcia, the first-term councilman and community activist who persuaded the council in February to create a review board, now says "accountability is dead."

Civilian review of alleged police misconduct has been a goal for more than a decade among communities of color served by Phoenix police. 

On this weekend's "Sunday Square Off," Garcia says the Office of Accountability and Transparency can be revived. 

The outcome of March runoff elections for two seats on the nine-member council will likely decide whether Garcia can get the votes to bring back a civilian review board.

Garcia also explains why longtime allies at Poder in Action and council opponent Sal DiCiccio both urged a "no" vote last week on adding the review board to city laws. 

"Sunday Square Off" airs at 8 a.m. Sundays on 12 News, after NBC's "Meet the Press," with Chuck Todd.