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Morgantown police review board will review 2021 arrest


The Morgantown Police Review and Advisory Board, the only board of its kind in the state, announced Thursday it plans to review its first case — an arrest made by local a police officer.

The board will review an arrest made Aug. 30, 2021, at the downtown Sheetz location on University Avenue.

Inaugural board members were put in place November 2022.

Before being seated as a board member, Megan Gandy witnessed the interaction. She pulled into the parking lot to see four police cruisers and officers interacting with a Black female who appeared to be upset.

“I saw one Black female, she was animated and upset,” Gandy said Thursday. “All she was saying was that she wanted to go inside and buy a hot dog. ‘I’m hungry. I’m hungry. I just want a hotdog.’”

Gandy said at that point she began to record the incident on her phone because she questioned the number of officers responding.

“They continued to not allow her to enter the Sheetz, and they didn’t verbalize at that time why, but they may have since,” Gandy said. “Then they did engage her and arrest her.”

Board Chair Rich Burks said he would like police to walk through the entire response and explain procedures that are in place for similar responses.

“I’m one of these people who wants to know the beginning — I want the 911 call,” Burks said. “What was the actual call? Did they talk to the manager of Sheetz before they confronted the people outside?”

The board also announced Thursday it will hold a public forum Feb. 8 at the Morgantown Library in hopes of attracting new members. Board members want the public to learn more about what they do to help marginalized communities and promote transparency.

The board has nine slots with seven members currently serving.

“We want to improve communication between the community and police, and vice versa between the police and community members,” Gandy said.

The ordinance establishing the board and application are on the City of Morgantown website.