NewsLocal News


Lawmakers weigh in on police reform 2 years after George Floyd's murder

Posted at 10:36 PM, May 26, 2022

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The calls for justice in 2020 were loud and clear not only from everyday Americans but federal lawmakers alike.

“There’s less qualified applicants in law enforcement agencies, some are resigning between 1 and 10 years, most within the first five years,” said Brown.

Two years later, former Cleveland Chief of Police Patrick Oliver said there are some noticeable differences at the federal and state level.

“All law enforcement agencies that I’m aware of are doing de-escalation training, they are requiring officers to know how to deescalate a situation, so it doesn’t heighten the urgency of use of force," said Oliver.

Just last year Governor Mike Dewine announced a $5 million grant to help local law enforcement invest in body cameras.

Euclid police is among the departments benefitting from the funds and a major change is brewing in the Cleveland Police Department as voters created a new 13-member community police commission.

Once appointed. the board will have the final say on police discipline, and training and recruitment policies among other duties.

It has already received nearly 200 applications.

“One of the things that they [state leaders] want to do, and there is legislation being drafted on this, is require a psychological examination in the state of Ohio for officers,” said Oliver.

Just this week President Joe Biden signed an executive order mainly surrounding police reform on the federal level.

Among the lengthy order, the commander in chief is rolling out a national database of federal officers with disciplinary records and calling for revised use of force policies.

But Brown said that's not enough and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would overhaul law enforcement further.

“It would eliminate things like qualified immunity for law enforcement officers and that is the thing that has shielded police officers and government officials from being held accountable," said Brown.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act though remains stalled in Washington. Locally, Oliver said there’s more work to do and certainly more officers that need to be hired.

Eric Brewer is the Republican running against Shontel Brown for Ohio’s 11th congressional district.

Brewer said there have been several changes in the past two years for the better, he says police need more training and if elected he would hold officers accountable for their role in corruption.

Last month, News 5 reported Cleveland police alone were down some 235 officers and that number could likely grow.

“I would meet with the law enforcement entities that are seeking federal dollars and I would have the discussion this, ‘You’re going to follow federal laws, you’re going to follow all of them if you want federal dollars. If you don't follow the laws then I’m going to ask the US attorney’s office to go over there and start investigating,’” said Brewer.

Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.

You can also catch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We're also on Amazon Alexa devices. Learn more about our streaming options here.