Commission Charged With Reforming Cleveland PD Invites Public Comment
By ideastream's Brian Bull
More than 100 people went to a Cleveland church last night to meet the 13 individuals tasked with recommending reforms in the city police force.
While the Cleveland Community Police Commission has held weekly meetings since its members were sworn in last month, this is the first time the group invited public comment.
Among the items on the agenda was an update on the City Council’s bias free policing ordinance, and a presentation on the Police Review Board. Then commission members answered questions from the audience.
Mario Clopton is a Shaker Heights teacher who co-chairs the commission. He felt the event went well, though he acknowledges there are expectations and pressures.
“We are limited by our power within the consent decree, we are an advisory committee," Clopton says, "but once we do make recommendations, we want to make sure that we get the community involved in seeking the changes that our elected officials will need to enact, along with the Cleveland Division of Police.”
Members of the Cleveland City Council were also present. Earlier Wednesday, a council committee considered legislation that would require police officers to document the perceived race, age and gender of anyone they stop.
Discussion at the community police commission meeting included broadening the scope of bias-free policing to include age and sexual orientation.