Today, the Citizens for a Safer Cleveland coalition reached an important milestone in our pursuit of real accountability and justice for Cleveland families impacted by police violence: collecting more than 70% of the petition signatures needed to strengthen civilian police oversight in Cleveland and put it on the ballot in November. Our coalition has secured more than 7,000 signatures from registered Cleveland voters in support of strengthening police accountability, exceeding the formal target number of roughly 6,000 signatures to get on the ballot.
For decades now, Clevelanders have seen police officers assault or kill Black and brown people with no consequences. Citizens for a Safer Cleveland is pushing to amend Cleveland’s city charter to make the Cleveland Community Police Commission permanent and give a diverse, independent board of community representatives the final say on police discipline.
“This campaign is important to me as a mother and a member of the community. We need to make sure that as long as police are policing the city of Cleveland, we need a permanent commission board to oversee them. I’m going to fight for my son until I can’t fight anymore,” said Alicia Kirkman, the mother of 17-year-old Angelo Miller, who was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in 2007.
“Securing the majority of signatures needed to ensure police accountability in our city, especially as Juneteenth approaches, is an encouraging step forward for Cleveland. It is one step closer towards healing our communities and addressing the historical lack of accountability when police officers have hurt or murdered Black and brown people with impunity,” said LaTonya Goldsby, president of Black Lives Matter Cleveland.
“No matter where we’re from or what we look like, our loved ones deserve to come home safe at the end of the day. We are proud of all the organizers, volunteers, and community members who have supported our petition to install a permanent civilian oversight structure over police in Cleveland, said Rachael Collyer, lead organizer for Stand Up For Ohio.
The link to endorse the Citizens for a Safer Cleveland campaign is HERE.
Citizens for a Safer Cleveland represents a broad group of concerned organizations and individuals who are working together to strengthen community oversight of the police, deliver justice for our families, and ensure that our communities can feel safe and secure. The group is led by families who have lost a loved one to police violence, and supported by organizations like Stand Up For Ohio, Black Lives Matter Cleveland, NAACP Cleveland, Showing Up for Racial Justice-NEO, and the ACLU of Ohio.
Stand Up For Ohio (SUFO) is a coalition of community, student, faith, labor, and policy groups committed to building a coordinated movement for racial, social, and economic justice in Ohio. Since 2007, Stand Up for Ohio has run large-scale 501(c)4 electoral programs in cities across the state, knocking on hundreds of thousands of doors and engaging thousands of Ohioans in trainings, house meetings, and direct actions related to economic and racial justice.