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NAACP Wants Police Union Chief to Quit the Community-Police Commission

Matthew Barge

  The Cleveland branch of the NAACP wants the head of the patrolmen’s union to resign from the group that has a key role in reforming the police department.

The NAACP says union President Steve Loomis should quit because of his strident defense of the six officers fired for their roles in the mass shooting that killed two unarmed people in 2012.

The Community Police Commission -- formed under a federal consent decree – will provide key input on changes in training, use of force and other issues. Matthew Barge is the federal monitorappointed to oversee the reforms -- and says he’s not weighing in on the makeup of the commission at this point. 

  “We’re trying to make sure as we go around in this process we are not right out of the box dictating to people how the commission should function. This needs to be a body that’s robust, that’s vibrant and that helps to get us where we need to go. And part of that is who speaks for the community, who speaks for officers.”

The commission is made up of 10 civilians and three police officers. One member quit this week, based on the workload for the all-volunteer commission. On Monday, Barge will present the detailed plan and timeline for the reforms to federal Judge Solomon Oliver. 

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.