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THE TASK FORCE REPORT

ON

CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD ISSUES

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA DECEMBER 1999

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction Background The Process Deliberations

Authority and Power to Receive Complaints Authority and Power to Make Decisions Authority and Power to Investigate Complaints Structure, Funding and Staffing

Community Standards

Conclusion

Attachments

Page 1 Page 2 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 13

INTRODUCTION

THE TASK FORCE REPORT

I ON

CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD ISSUES

The purpose of this document is to provide to the Greensboro City Council

the findings and recommendations of the Task Force on Citizen Review

Board Issues. The goal of the Task Force was to determine if it could

develop a system to build trust and credibility, as well as understanding

between police and citizens of Greensboro.

Based on over 14 years of research of citizen review systems from 1977~

1991, Dr. Douglas Perez states in the International City Managers

Association Management Information System (MIS) Report, Volume

24INumber 8, August 1992, "Police Review Systems" that "a police review

,

system must be evaluated with respect to how thorough, fair and objective it

is perceived to be. Even a system perfect in an administrative and legal

sense would be problematic for its municipality if the community did not

believe in its integrity,"

2

Further, Dr. Perez points out that "arguments about the limitations of civilian review do not diminish the importance of the idea. Even though they do not often find the police guilty, civilian systems are considered to have greater legitimacy within the communities that they serve. and developing community confidence that the police will be held accountable for their actions is important in and of itself. America has seen recently - in tragic proportions - what happens when minority communities in particular don't have this type of trust in the accountability of the police."

Finally, Dr. Perez said, "the right to due process is (also) an important consideration. Civilian review boards usually afford broader rights to accused officers than those afforded by internal, police-operated systems. Because of this, the "fairness" with which officers are treated by civilian systems is somewhat greater. Civilian boards also give the complaining citizen greater access to the review process through open hearings that allow cross examination of police officers and representation by counsel."

BACKGROUND

During the months of October-December 1998) a group of citizens, including the Justice for Daryl Howerton Committee, the North Carolina

3

A&T State University History Club and the North Carolina Racial Justice Network, made a series of presentations at City Council meetings. Also the Justice for Daryl Howerton Committee sent a letter to City Council that listed a number of concerns and requested that City Council respond to those concerns (attachment 1). Included among the concerns were allegations of misconduct by police officers at a meeting of the NC A&T History Club in October 1998, questions concerning the integrity of the Greensboro Police Internal Affairs Division's process and requests that public hearings be held on the creation of a citizen review board.

At the December 1, 1998 City Council Meeting the Mayor responded in writing to the groups requests (attachment 2), The Mayor responded to the allegations against the Police Department by directing the Greensboro Human Relations Commission to study the issue of a police review board and provide a report to City Council. Subsequently, recognizing that the Human Relations Commission's Complaint Review Committee was currently serving as a police review board, City Council created this Task Force to study the review board issue. In March 1999 the Mayor directed the Task Force to examine issues and prepare a report on the feasibility of creating a citizen review board in Greensboro. If the Task Force were to

4

find in favor of creating a review board, recommendations should include proposals as to structure, operating procedures, funding, staffing and extent of powers and authority.

The Task Force consisted of a diverse group of 13 citizens appointed by members of City Council (attachment 3). The 13 citizens included 5 African Americans, 1 Native American, 1 Latino and 6 Caucasians. Ten were male and three were female. Halfway tlrrough the process one member moved from the area and no longer served on the Task Force, The Task Force conducted a total of 15 meetings, including a public hearing, from MarchNovember 1999, Due to scheduling difficulties there were no meetings where the full contingent of 13 members were present. However, with the exception of one meeting, on the average there were 8-10 members present.

The Task Force worked diligently for over nine months studying models of citizen review boards in effect in various cities across the United States, This included listening to government officials, citizen review board members and local leaders present their views and examining issues surrounding the creation ofa citizen review board in Greensboro. This report contains background on the creation of the Task Force, an overview

5

of the process, a review of the elements of a citizen review system and the findings and recommendations of the Task Force,

This report does not address all the concerns and procedural issues related to the creation and operation of a review board. Rather, the recommendations represent general and somewhat broad key elements of a review board, realizing that the City Council may wish to provide more direction and detail as it considers the Task Force's recommendations,

THE PROCESS

The Task Force held its first meeting on March 10, 1999, It developed a meeting schedule and work plan that included research and review of materials on citizen review boards, community outreach, on-site visits, and deliberations and preparation of a report to City Council. Under research and review of materia, Is each Task Force member was provided a notebook that contained citizen review board operations in over 18 cities throughout the United States including Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Durham, NC (attachment 4), Under community outreach the Task Force adopted an open manner of conducting meetings which allowed citizens to attend and make comments. Also, written comments were encouraged and

6

received from citizens. Minutes of the meetings are available in the

Greensboro Human Relations Department. Finally, a public hearing was

held in the City Council Chambers and televised on the Government

Channel 13 on July 22) 1999, No additional public hearings were deemed

necessary after the Task Force reviewed and discussed the outcome of the

initial public hearing. A diverse group of citizens provided a wide range of

views on the establishment of a police citizen review board. It was the

consensus of the group that nothing new would come from holding

additional meetings in various quadrants of the City. The Task Force did not

conduct anyon-site visits but the Chairs of the Greensboro Complaint

Review Committee and the Charlotte and Winston-Salem Citizen Review

Boards were guests presenters in one of the meetings, Additionally, the

Greensboro City Manager, Deputy City Manager and Chief of Police made

I

presentations to the Task Force. The first three meetings were used to listen

to the speakers listed above. The remaining meetings were used to discuss

the citizen review board issue among Task Force members.

DELIBERA TIONS

The first decision the Task Force had to make was whether or not

Greensboro needed a citizen review board. There were 8 members in

7

attendance and the vote was 7-1 in favor of a citizen review board. The vote was based on several factors: (1) recognition that the Complaint Review Committee of the Greensboro I-Iuman Relations Commission was currently serving as a review board but was ineffective due to lack of resources, publicity and subpoena power; (2) that a significant number of citizens distrust police officers and the police internal review process; and, (3) that a vote for a review board should not be seen as a vote for or against police. Rather, creation of a review board should enhance the credibility of the system and instill greater trust between police officers and citizens.

Having made the decision in favor of a review board, the Task Force proceeded to review and analyze elements of citizen review board systems. Using an outline that summarized the general powers and authority granted to various review boards (attachment 5), the Task Force discussed and voted on elements that would make the most effective review board system in Greensboro. Elements considered were: (l) Authority and power of a board to receive complaints; (2) Authority and power of a board to investigate complaints; and, (3) Authority and power of a board to make decisions and recommendations.

AuthOr.:.~ty and Power to Receive Comp:laints

8

Four citizen review systems were discussed: (1) System in which citizens

make complaints directly to the review board; (2) System in which citizens

make complaints to the police department that in turn sends complaints to

the review board; (3) System in which complaints are made simultaneously

to the review board and police department; and, (4) System in which

complaints are made either to the review board or the police department.

After much discussion the Task Force voted 7-1 in favor of citizens making

complaints either to the board or the police department. Task Force

members felt citizens should have a choice of where they wanted to file their

,

complaints, Members felt it was most important that citizens be made aware

that a review board existed and the process used to make complaints. Every

effort must be made to publicize this fact.

Authority and rower to MaIs~.Decisiolls

Three types of review systems were considered: (1) System in which the

board conducts hearings, makes decisions and forwards findings and/or

recommendations to the city manager; (2) System in which the board

conducts hearings, makes decisions and recommends disciplinary or other

appropriate actions to the city manager; and (3) System in which the police

department personnel conduct hearings, the board reviews hearing

9

procedures and makes recommendations to the city manager. It was noted

that system (3) is the one currently used by the Complaint Review

Committee. The Task Force voted 6M3 for System (2)) in which the board

conducts hearings, makes decisions and recommends disciplinary or other

appropriate actions to the city manager. This option was chosen by the

majority because it allows the board to function independently without

having to rely on information or documentation from the police department.

,

The majority of the board members agreed that some form ofpubJic

disclosure of the findings and recommendations is extremely important. As

much specific information as possible must be provided to citizens

concerning the outcomes of their complaints.

Authority and Power to Investigate Compl~ints

The last element considered under citizen review board systems was the

authority and power of the board to investigate complaints. Under authority,

there were three systems considered: (1) A system in which the board

conducts its own investigations; (2) System in which the police department

conducts investigations and provides the board with the information for its

review and recommendations; and, (3) System in which either the board or

the police department conducts investigations, In regards to powers granted

10

to boards to obtain information and interview parties, four systems were considered: (1) System in which the board has no formal power to require production of witnesses or documents; (2) System in which the board enters into a written agreement with the police department to cooperate in producing documents or witnesses; (3) System in which the City Council mandates that the board and police department cooperate to the fullest extent possible; and, (4) System in which the board is granted subpoena power to compel parties to appear and respond to issues and produce evidence. The Task Force voted 7-3 in favor of the board conducting its own investigation with the power to compel appearance of parties and production of evidence.

Research of review boards across the United States and testimony of most guest presenters and citizens were overwhelmingly in agreement that without subpoena power or the ability to compel appearance of parties and evidence review boards are ineffective. The Task Force had considerable discussion on subpoena power, including legislation required, the lengthy administrative process and personnel and privacy issues.

Structure, Funding and Staffing

Based on the determinations made previously, that the board have the power and authority to receive, investigate and make findings and

L L

recommendations, the Task Force voted 6-3 in favor of recommending the

board be funded in a manner that will allow it to discharge its

responsibilities. At minimum, the Task Force recommends the board be

assigned a staff with a director, investigator and a clerk plus adequate

operating expenses.

Community Standards

Integrated throughout the Task Force's deliberations were discussions of

establishing "community standards" that the board could use to evaluate the

conduct of police officers. Community standards suggest that local

,

communities should have something to say about the standards by which

officers should be judged. Professional standards are necessary and

valuable, but they are formulated nationally and cannot reflect the history

and character of individual communities. The police serve local

communities; it follows that input into standards for policing needs to come

from local communities. Obviously, community standards would differ

from professional standards but community and professional standards

should be complementary and consistent.

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The Task Force voted 7-3 to recommend that the board incorporate the use

,

of community standards as a tool to evaluate police conduct. The statement

developed by the Task Force reads: "The citizen review board shall review

citizens' complaints about police conduct in relation to standards to be

promulgated by the Greensboro community, Standards shall be consistent

with all legal and professional police standards and reflect the traditions of

the Greensboro community", Examples of community standards arc as

follows: (1) Greensboro police officers will not use deadly force to

apprehend offenders in the presence of equally effective alternative methods

of apprehension; (2) Police officers will not engage in racial profiling; (3)

Pollee officers will not participate in pre-textual stops; (4) Police officers

will not stop a person merely because the person is in a neighborhood

occupied by people predominantly different; (5) Where an individual is

engaging in activity reasonably determined to be symptomatic of a mentally

disturbed person, police officers will respond by immediately involving

mental health officials; and, (6) Officers will act in a manner which

recognizes that persons arrested might be frustrated and angered and officers

will not use force against an individual whose only behavior is using

profanity andlor expressing anger.

13

Conclusion

The recommendations presented in this report represent many hours of acquiring information, discussion and debate and should be the primary guideposts for the creation of a citizen review board in Greensboro. The majority of Task Force members feel strongly that barriers to obtaining subpoena powers and personnel policies that hinder the sharing of dispositions with complainants should and must be overcome if Greensboro is to have an effective review board.

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November 19, 1998

RECEI¥ED

NO\' 231998 Humaa R,htions Department

TO' FROM. RE'

City Council

JUstice for Daryl Howerton Committee Requests to the City Council

We wanted to create some clarity on the requests that we made to the City Council on November 17111 The reason we are stating our requests again is that we are urging the City Council to take responsibility for giving us the answers we need related to these most important issues that we are brin~jng to your attention.

SCI;a.use of the incidents in October" the trial of Daryl Howerton, the military maneuvers in Greensboro, and the undercover poliee officers at NC A&T State University· we make the: fbllowlng requests. We hope you will give us an answer to the requests as soon as

possible:

• We request that the City Council answer questions on the military training exercises in Greensboro October 7, 1998

• We raque st that the City Council direct the Human Relations Commission to study

and report their findings on the: Daryl Howerton case

• We: request that the City Council direct the Human Relations Commission study the black and while perceptions of the Greensboro police Department and its rei atlOnahip

to their community

• We request that the City Council direct the Human Relations Cornrnissio n to study

the impact of racism on education. economic wealth, housing, and the allocation of social agencies' resources in Greensboro's black community.

• We request tha.t the City Council determine whether the actions of the Police Department in sending undercover officers to the NC A & T State University History Club (orurn followed proper procedures and if so, whether those procedure~ are

discrirninarorv towards this black institution.

• We request thRI the City Council hold public hearj nga on the creation of a citizens

police review boarel

Wt! hope that this clarification will help the communication between the Daryl Howerton Justice Committee, the City Council and its admini~tration. If there are any questions,

please contact :-.laomi Randolph at 2JO-2061

MA YOR'S STATEMENT FOR DECEMBER 1, 1998 COUNCIL MEETING

On behalf of the Greensboro City Council, I would like to read a statement, which responds to the questions and concerns, raised by the Justice for Daryl Howerton Committee. The City Council heard various individuals express concerns at the November 1 ih Council meeting. Additionally, we have received a letter from the Justice for Daryl Howerton Committee, which specifics six requests/concerns

raised at the meeting.

I will respond to each concern in the order presented in the Justice for Daryl Howerton Committee's November 19) 1998 letter to the City Council.

1. \Ve request that the City Council answer questions on the military training exercise in Greensboro October 7, 1998

Response: The magnitude of the military exercise far exceeded the level of activity which the Police Department had been advised would take place. The Police Department was told the exercise would be a "two minute rescue"

invol ving two helicopters. The duration of the exercise was much longer and involved more helicopters. While the military did make some door-to-door notifications In the immediate area of the training site, this was insufficient notice

to the residents of OUl' city.

As a result of the expanded magnitude of the exercise, which was a last minute decision of the military commander in chcrge.fhe Pr:\ire. Department and the community were completely caught in an unexpected and uncomfortable situation.

In response to the negative impact which the military exercise imposed on our citizens, the Chief of Police and other city staff in the Police Department and the City Manager's Office responded to the concerns of citizens by telephone or by letter. The Chief has also modified police Department authorization procedures. Chief 'White also wrote a letter to the Commanding Officer of the United States Marine Corp. The letter expressed the negative consequences of the exercise and requested that no further military exercises be conducted in Greensboro except under extreme compelling military need and in complete collaboration with city

officials.

To further express our dissatisfaction with how [his exercise was conducted, I will ask the Greensboro City Council to adopt a Resolution following the reading of

ATTACHMENT 2

my statement, which requests that exercises of this nature not be conducted in Greensboro unless there is sufficient advance notification and full collaboration with the Greensboro City Council, the City Manager, and the Greensboro Police Department.

2. \Ve request that the City Council direct the Human Relations Commission to study and report their findings on the Dn ryl Howerton case.

Response: Any time a life is lost, it is a tragic situation and our hearts go out to Mrs. Howerton on the loss of her son, Daryl. However, due to the pending appeal in the case, the City's Legal Department has advised the Council and staff to refrain from commenting directly about the case, Accordingly, it is not appropriate to ask the Human Relations Commission to study this case while it is under Ii ti gati on.

3. We request th:lt the City Council direct the Human Relations Commission study the black arid wh ite perceptions of the Greensboro Police Department and its relationship to their community.

Response: We want all citizens in Greensboro to feel that the Police Department is here to serve them in a fair and responsive manner, This is an objective which the Police Chief has as well. The Human Relations Commission's Complaint Review Committee is presently reviewing surveys conducted by the City from 1976 through 1990 which analyze perceptions of citizens, by race, concerning certain matters related to police, We will also gather input 1'1'0111 the community at larze. The Human Relations Commission will include this issue in its review of the Police Review Board concept and will provide a report to the City Council. That report will help us to determine our next step,

4. We request that the City Council direct the HUIn,lIl Relations Commission to study the impact of racism on education, economic wealth, housing, and the allocation of social ngencies' resources in Greensboro's black

cu m mu n i ty.

Response: The Human Relations Commission hns been directed to assess the perception of racism 0S it relates to the full spectrum otareas which citizens have identi ned and report back to the City Council. The assessment should involve the Justice for Daryl Howerton Committee, local colleges and universities, the Pulpit Form, local agencies, diversity organizations such as Other Voices, the

6. We request that the City Council hold public hearings on the creation of a citizens police review board.

N.A.A.C.P., the National Conference for Community and Justice, and the community at large to gather input on these issues, and to make recommendations to the City Council. We ask that a progress report come back to the Council in

mid-February.

5, vVe request that the City Council determine whether the actions of the Police Department in sending undercover officers to the N.C. A. & T.

State University History Club forum followed proper procedures and if so, whether those procedures are discriminatory towards this black

institution.

Response: The Council has been provided the Standard Operating Procedures of the Special Intelligence Section of the Greensboro Police Department) which tliOvidcs both legal and operational authority for the Intelligence Section to attend public forums, We have been informed that the Pol ice Department's Intelligence Section bas attended and/or monitored many diffe:'ent activities so far this year that cover a broad spectrum of groups which are predominately not African"

American.

The Chief of Police has assured me that Corporal Murdock and Detective Smith were both dressed in casual plain clothes, which is their daily duty attire, and in no way attempted to conceal their identity, Chief White advised me that Corporal Murdock has been a police Officer since 1972 and a member of the Special Intelligence Section since 1985 and is well known in the community as a police officer. Additionally, Chief White i nforrned me had the police Department intended to covert!v send undercover officers to the meeting rhat t\VO veteran

officers would not have been assigned.

The Chief advised that he originally instructed officers to attend the meeting at Guilford College 011 October 28, 1998. However. these officers were later given a different assignment which was thought to be a higher priority at the time. While [he end result meant police officers auended the meeting .u N.C. A& T and not the IT1eeting at Guilford College, the facts indicate (it is my opinion) that the Police DepOlrtment's actions were consistent with their policies and did not discriminate

against African Americans,

In closing, you have my personal assurance. as Mayor, that every City department will be held to the highest of standards in serving all citizens with respect and protession8lism. Further, when needed, the City Council will use its influence with any agency I corporadon or group in our ci ty in order to bring about open dialogue on issues 0[" race, or inequity, and in seeking positive change where such

is required.

Response: The Human Relations Complaint Review Committee will initiate a review of information on Civilian Review Boards and provide their recommendations to the City Council within 90 days, We will also ask the Police Department for its input on Review Board processes and will gather additional citizen input. After the Council reviews the Commission's findings and recommendations, as welt as the public input, we will make a decision relative to

the appropriate action to take.

Finally, I wish to respond to two other items raised at the November 1 ih Council meeting,

The first concerns how the Greensboro Police Department handles mentally ill citizens with whom they come in contact. The Police Department currently provides training in Recruit School, and in In-Service training on how to dearwith mentally ill individuals, However, in order to enhance these current efforts, I am recommending that the Council direct the City Manager to ask the police Chief to form a Task Force that includes mental health professionals, to make recommendations on how the Depnrtment can enhance its services to mentally ill

citizens whom they encounter.

The other item raised at the November l7'h Council meeting involves concerns about how African-Americans (especially students) are treated at Four Seasons Mall, COllnclll11en"lbel' Yvonne Johnson and 1 have met with Steve Snowfety to discuss this issue and to ask for cooperation from Four Seasons vlall in dealing with this issue. \Vr;: have learned that Four Seasons sent information to most of the coHeges and universities in the Citv, £'IS well as to 25 middle and high schools. Mr. Showfety has agreed to meet with student representatives from the local colleges and universities to discuss this issue and to hear their concerns.

'END OF STATEMENT.

*The Greensboro City Counei 1 took act; on on both of these i tars at the 12/1/98 neeti ng, The resolution Council adopted requested that exercises of this nature not be conducted in Greensboro unless there is sufficient advance notification and full collaboration ~th the Greensboro City Council, the City Manager and the Greensboro police Oeparument, council also passed vii th voi ce vote> di recti on to the ~i ty i"anager to ask the Po' ~ ce Chi ef to form a task force that includes rrental health professlOnals, to nake recarrreooatlOns on hem the Oepar1::lrent can enhance its services to mentally ill citizens whom they encounter,

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RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE MARINE EXPEDITlONARY FORCE NOT CONDUCT TRAINING EXERCISES WITH THE USE OF HELICOPTERS IN GREENSBORO WITHOUT SUFFICIENT ADVANCE NOTIFICATION AND FULL COLLABORATION WITH CITY GOVERNMENT

WHEREAS, the military training exercises performed by the Marine Expeditionary Force in Greensboro on 7 October 1998 was of such a magnitude that it far exceeded the level of activity that was anticipated;

WHEREAS, there was not adequate notice to the citizens, either of the exercise mission or the nature of such mission, such that many citizens were caught unexpected and were alarmed;

WHEREAS, any further military exercises.should not be conducted in Greensboro, except under extreme compelling military need and in complete collaboration with City Government Officials;

Vv11EREAS. it is deemed in the best interest of the City to seek the cooperation of the Marine Expeditionary Force and to agree on a mutual basis as to the nature and type of exercise that might be conducted within permissible limits.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE ClTY OF GREENSBORO:

That the Marine Expeditionary Force is strongly requested to discontinue military training exercises of the magnitude that occurred on 7 October 1998 and that any further military exercises not be conducted in Greensboro unless there is sufficient advance notification and full collaboration with the Greensboro City Council, City Manager and the Greensboro Police Department.

TASK FORCE ON CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD ISSUES

NAME Carole Bruce

Dian Currie Mazie Ferguson Nathan Ingram Pete Leone Kenneth Locklear Joel Oakley Frank Rakestraw J amesena Watkins Robert Winslow Ed Wynn ADVISORS

Robert "Bob" Davis Barton A. Parks

CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD INFORMATION ON SPECIFIC CITIES

Greensboro Winston-Salem Durham Charlotte Atlanta Boston Chicago Detroit

Indianapolis Los Angeles Minneapolis New Orleans

New York Philadelphia Portland

Providence San Francisco Washington, DC

"Police review: Separate approaches" ,"Report on Civilian Review Systems"

ATTACHMENT 4

ATTACHMENT 5

ELEMENTS OF CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD SYSTEMS

Three Main Elements

• Powers/Authority to Receive Complaints (Intake)

• Powers/ Authority to Investigate Complaints (Investigative)

• Powers/Authority to Determine Outcomes (Decisionmaking)

Various Models for Receiving Complaints

• Complaints made directly to Citizen Review Board (CRE)

• Complaints made to police department and then sent to CRB for review

• Complaints made simultaneously to CRE and police Department

Models for Investigating Complaints

• CRB conducts investigations

• Police conducts investigations and CRB reviews the process

• Powers to investigate range from

• no formal power but can negotiate/mediate

• Policy/agreement between CRB and police department to cooperate and provide documents, witnesses and other materials, in accordance with state

and local laws.

• Direction/mandate from City Council that all parties cooperate to the maximum extent possible.

• Ordinance granting subpoena power to the CRE and outlining procedures for use and enforcement.

Models for Determining Outcomes (Decisionmakiug)

• CRB conducts hearing, makes decision, determines and implements disciplinary actions if necessary

• If Powers/authority limited to review only (i.e. no investigative and decisionmaking responsibilities) staffing may be possible within existing city

resources,

• eRB conducts hearing, makes decision and recommends disciplinary actions

• Hearings conducted by police personnel and reviewed by CRE with recommendations

Other Considerations

Structure, Funding, Staffing

• Depends upon the powers/authority granted to eRB

• If CRB has full powers/authority (i.e. receive, investigate and decide complaints) then must be fully staffed (i.e, minimum of director, investigator and clerk)

Types of Complaints Handled by th~~RB

• Complaints can range' from allegations of criminal conduct to lack of professional courtesy,

• In terms of staffing, Task Force may want to consider limiting eRE review to specific types of complaints,

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