Gov. DeWine announces new standards for LEOs during mass protests, use of lethal force

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FILE – (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Friday the development of a new statewide minimum standard for law enforcement officers’ response to mass protests and demonstrations. 

He also announced changes to Ohio’s minimum standard for use of deadly force which now largely prohibits chokeholds and similar maneuvers. 

According to a release, DeWine called for the changes after death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed.  

“We must rebuild trust between the public and law enforcement, and these changes continue to build on Ohio’s work to improve community-police relations,” said Governor DeWine. “Law enforcement agencies that are certified in the Ohio Collaborative’s standards show commitment to following, and oftentimes exceeding, Ohio’s best practices for serving and protecting our diverse communities.”  

The new and modified standards were adopted during a virtual meeting of the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board, Friday.

Law enforcement agencies seeking certification or recertification in the Collaborative’s primary standards must now prohibit the use of chokeholds or other vascular neck restraints in all circumstances except when officers are justified in using deadly force to defend themselves or others from serious physical injury or death.  

“To gain certification in the new mass protest standard, agencies must develop a policy that protects public and officer safety while also upholding the constitutional rights of expression, assembly, and freedom of the press. The policy should restrict the fewest freedoms possible; limit the use of force, coercion, and intrusiveness; target only harmful behaviors and conditions; and deploy predictable and unbiased tactics,” the release from DeWine’s office reads.

Other standards address bias-free policing, body-worn cameras, community engagement, law enforcement vehicular pursuits, investigation of employee misconduct, and telecommunicator training. 

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