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Summit County Prosecutor's Office transferring all police use-of-force investigations to Ohio AG

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Posted at 5:31 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 17:31:35-04

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio — All current open law enforcement use-of-force reviews by the office of Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh have been transferred to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, according to county officials.

The move comes after Gov. Mike DeWine called on the Ohio General Assembly to mandate that qualified, independent investigative agencies review all officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths.

“Our law enforcement officers are sworn to protect us and they risk their lives on a daily basis to keep our community safe. I have always strived to be an independent voice in Summit County and hold criminals accountable,” Walsh said in a press release. “While I am confident we have avoided conflicts in the past and that our methods were sound, I feel it is time to refer these reviews to an agency which does not work daily with our local law enforcement.”

Moving the Summit County cases to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is a step towards reforming investigations in police and law enforcement use-of-force, shifting away from internal investigations that DeWine said “is outdated and does not inspire public trust.”

The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office said it will be providing information to two current use-of-force reviews.

The first is the case involving Elijah Cade, the 19-year-old who was shot by Akron police officers following a pursuit in January and who was unarmed at the time of the shooting.

Also under review is the case involving Mohammad Isaifan, a 40-year-old man who was killed by two officers in December. He was fired on when police say he drew a holstered handgun on them after a struggle.