The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has verified the additional 3,208 signatures submitted by Citizens for a Safer Cleveland last week, ensuring real police accountability and oversight will be on the ballot this fall. The campaign has turned in more than 15,000 signatures, more than twice the amount needed to qualify.
“We are now so much closer to getting real justice for my son Angelo and all the families affected by police violence in Cleveland. I call on my fellow community members to vote in support of this charter amendment, so our families can finally lead the way in the police accountability process,” said Alicia Kirkman, the mother of Angelo Miller, who was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in 2007.
An initial count by the Board of Elections determined that the campaign had fallen 384 signatures short of the required 6,270 to qualify a charter amendment for the ballot. Given a 15-day period to collect additional signatures, Citizens For A Safer Cleveland turned in far more than the signatures needed days before the deadline.
The Cleveland Division of Police has been under a consent decree since 2014 after a DOJ investigation found a pattern of excessive use of force and other unconstitutional policing practices. The consent decree is poised to expire in 2022, and families affected by police brutality in Cleveland, along with a diverse coalition of community advocates, including former police officers — view this initiative as a way to ensure permanent accountability over a police department that has failed to properly discipline its officers.
If passed, this ballot measure would expand the investigative and disciplinary powers of the Civilian Police Review Board, an independent body appointed by the Mayor that investigates alleged misconduct by police officers. It also establishes a permanent Community Police Commission to serve as the final city authority regarding the discipline of police officers, and provides the community with an ongoing voice on policing and community safety policies.