Our current system of policing is failing us. Across the country, communities of color have historically been and continue to be heavily policed and surveilled. Black Ohioans continue to suffer unjust violence at the hands of the police.
The ACLU of Ohio along with other advocates and activists have called for sweeping police reform for decades. The policies and actions of the police are instrumental in deciding who gets stopped, searched, arrested, and funneled into the criminal justice system; indeed, the United States' overincarceration crisis begins at the front end of the system. While some cities have implemented reform and others are in the process of doing so, we acknowledge that reform is not enough. The underlying problem with policing isn't a lack of training or policies and procedures, it's systemic.
In order to address racism in policing, we need to fundamentally reimagine the role police play in our society. In support of such change, the ACLU of Ohio is working locally across the state to push for a model of policing that ensures transparency, accountability, racial equity, and justice.
Cleveland Police Accountability Initiative Wins!
On November 2, 2021, Cleveland voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 24 – a ballot measure brought forward by the Citizens for a Safer Cleveland – to significantly strengthen civilian oversight of the police in Cleveland.
Specifically, this charter amendment will:
- Strengthen and reinforce the existing police oversight systems in Cleveland,
- Expand the investigative and disciplinary powers of the Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB),
- Establish a permanent Community Police Commission to serve as the final city authority regarding the discipline of police officers,
- Grant the CPC the power to implement its policy recommendations, and
- Ensure investigations are truly independent by guaranteeing that the Office of Professional Standards reports to The CPRB (and not to the police chief).
Learn more about Issue 24 and Citizens for a Safer Cleveland here: https://safercle.org/
Learn more with our Police Contract Negotiations Toolkit for the City of Columbus