CLEVELAND – The Citizens for a Safer Cleveland initiative will move forward on the November ballot as Issue 24, reinforcing the groundswell of local support and momentum that Clevelanders have for real police accountability, following decades of political inaction and injustice. Issue 24 is a commonsense policy that will make Cleveland safer by ensuring that the Cleveland Division of Police can no longer police itself. The Safer Cleveland campaign secured the issue number from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections last Friday. View the official ballot language here.
“All our loved ones deserve to come home safe. Just like my son Angelo deserved to come home safe. We’re calling on all our neighbors, families, and friends in the Cleveland community to come out and vote for Issue 24 in November. Together, we’re pulling through to make sure that we have real police accountability and real justice for all our families, no exceptions,” said Alicia Kirkman, the mother of Angelo Miller, who was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in 2007.
Issue 24 would:
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 (CPC)* to serve as the final city authority regarding the discipline of police officers
Grant CPC the power to implement its policy recommendations
Ensure investigations are truly independent by making sure that the Office of Professional Standards reports to the CPRB (and not to the police chief)
A summary and full text of the charter amendment is available here.
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.
*Note: The Mayor of Cleveland will remain a part of the accountability process by retaining the power to nominate Commission members. The Mayor will also be able to remove Commission members for any malfeasance or gross neglect of duty, and other serious misconduct.*