In Cleveland, Kasich Says Statewide Police Reform Coming Soon
Governor John Kasich came to Cleveland Monday to talk about statewide police reform, after his Community-Police Relations Task Force released recommendations last week.
The governor said within three months, he wants all Ohio law enforcement agencies to be working under one set of standards for recruitment, hiring, and use of force.
"We can’t wait to make significant improvements. I mean, people just aren’t going to put up with that," he said.
Kasich said he will use his executive power to swiftly implement many of the panel's recommendations, but will work to move other reforms - including increased funding for officer training - through the legislative process.
The governor’s visit came as the city braces for protests once a verdict is announced soon in the trial of Michael Brelo. He’s one of many Cleveland police officers to take part in a car chase and shooting that ended in the deaths of two unarmed people in 2012.
Kasich and task force members, including police officials and current and former black lawmakers, said demonstrators don’t need to resort to destruction like Baltimore recently saw in order to get their concerns on the political radar.
"What I would like this state to know is that we’re listening," Kasich said.
Nina Turner, an African-American former state senator from Cleveland and mother of a police officer, co-chaired the task force along with Ohio Department of Public Safety Director John Born. Turner, also, urged calm.
People "don’t have to resort to violence to get their message out. Peaceful protests: yes. Violence, looting and rioting: no," she said.
Historically, race riots have left communities struggling for decades. The governor said he's concerned violence could stunt Cleveland’s nascent comeback.
Kasich created the Community-Police Relations Task Force in December in response to growing tension in Ohio and nationwide between black communities and police.