Campaign Statement on Winning Issue 24

CLEVELAND – Tonight, Clevelanders chose accountability, transparency, real police oversight and justice; our campaign could not be prouder. We are grateful for the generosity, courage, and leadership that the directly impacted families have shown in heralding this historic change for Cleveland. Our campaign is thrilled to share their individual statements below:     

“This is the dawning of a new era of policing in Cleveland. With the passing of Issue 24, we have the opportunity to create transformative police reform and real police accountability. The citizens of Cleveland have advocated for police accountability and civilian oversight for the past 100 years, and today, through the work of families who were directly impacted, it became a reality. We want to thank the residents of Cleveland for their vote and support in passing Issue 24,“ said LaTonya Goldsby, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and cousin of Tamir Rice.

“I want to thank God for allowing this to happen. We are finally headed in the right direction of real accountability and real justice. The voters of Cleveland showed up! This is what democracy looks like. Knowing this is not the end, I’m so proud that the voters of Cleveland have given me and the spirit of my brother a new beginning,” – said Brenda Bickerstaff, the brother of Craig Bickerstaff, who was killed by police in 2002. 

“I want to give a special thanks to everyone for going out and voting for Issue 24. This is a historic night for Cleveland. Stories of our fight for justice will be told for generations to come. This is history. Now that Issue 24 has passed, it’s time for real police accountability, transparency, subpoena power, and fair and independent investigations. The Community Police Commission will finally be a permanent body in Cleveland.

For 14 years, the heartaches and pain I have endured since the murder of my son Angelo, our struggle for change, all the times we were told that we couldn’t, and all the people who pressed on with me and the families. Tonight was a proven fact that yes, we can make change. I thank God for Issue 24 passing, and I thank our community for coming out and trusting in Issue 24,” said Alicia Kirkman, the mother of 17-year-old Angelo Miller, who was killed by police in 2007.    

“I’m happy that there will finally be real police accountability and transparency in our community. The CPD has been corrupt for over 100 years. Thank you, Clevelanders, for showing up and showing out at the polls as Cleveland residents. We will make Cleveland better and safer,” said Samaria Rice, the mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was killed by police in 2014.

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The Yes on Issue 24 campaign 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.