Families of police shooting victims push new law enforcement legislation

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Families who have lost loved ones to police shootings visited the Statehouse with a demand for new legislation Friday.

Several groups were in attendance from the Dayton based Families United Against Police Brutality started by Sabrina Jordan, to Cynthia Brown’s Ohio Chapter of Protect Our Stolen Treasures. The Black Lives Matter movement was represented as well.

All of the families are linked by the death of someone they loved and they are trying to get lawmakers in Ohio to pick up two pieces of legislation from California they feel will help prevent other Ohio families to suffer the same losses they have.

Yolanda McNair, of Detroit, was one of several who came from Michigan.

McNair joined a POST group in Michigan after her 24-year-old daughter was killed.

“Nobody here should know each other the way we do. We should never have got to know each other through our pain.”

The first bill the groups want to bring to Ohio just passed in California. Among other things, it would make internal investigation files publicly accessible records.

“The police are going to be held accountable, they can check how many times they’ve been disciplined, how many times they’ve had domestic violence, how many times they’ve had sexual assault charges. The public will know their whole record, which is good. We have a right to know,” said Brown.

The other bill the groups want to bring in from California is still being worked on there. It would change California’s requirement for the use of deadly force from being reasonable to do so to being necessary to do so.

The key difference is all other options would need to have been exhausted, including less than lethal options, before officers would be allowed to use deadly force.

The groups say they have a meeting scheduled with Democrat and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives Fred Strahorn around Election Day.

Any legislation brought forward by the minority party is highly unlikely to go anywhere before the legislative session comes to a close on Dec. 31 without significant buy-in from Republicans due to the short amount of time lawmakers will have during the Lame Duck session.

Should the matter be brought forward next year, during the next General Assembly, lawmakers will have two years to address the matter; and the likelihood of such bills passing is just as dire without buy-in from the majority party in both chambers; which is projected to remain the Republican party.

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