Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President and State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) responded today to the news that a Cleveland grand jury has decided to not bring charges against police officers involved in the shooting death of 12-year old Tamir Rice that occurred last November.
“Today’s decision is disappointing and disheartening for all those left searching for meaning and answers in the wake of such an unthinkable tragedy that claimed the life of an innocent young boy, Tamir Rice. The year-long grand jury process that brought us today’s decision underscores our state’s immediate need for action on social and criminal justice reforms, especially as they relate to making the grand jury process more transparent,” said Reece. “The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus will continue to push for this and other commonsense criminal justice reforms that provide solutions to help restore faith in the criminal justice system and trust between law enforcement and the public. My heart and prayers go out to Tamir Rice’s family and friends.”
In May, the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus released its justice reform agenda,* calling for changes to be made to the state’s grand jury process, law enforcement to be equipped with body cameras, social demographic data from police interactions to be collected to identify discriminatory policing tactics and reforms made to the death penalty.
Reece followed up the justice reform agenda rollout with the introduction of House Bill 380 (HB 380), bi-partisan legislation to create a more transparent investigative process following police officer-involved firearm deaths.
House Bill 380, co-sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira), will increase the transparency of investigations into police-related shootings by mandating that each law enforcement agency develop a written policy outlining how they will handle each investigation. It will also require information on the investigation be provided to the victims’ families no later than 30 days after completion.
Reece is also a founding member of the Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations, which was formed by an executive order from Governor Kasich following the shooting death of Tamir Rice and multiple other high-profile shooting deaths involving police officers.
*The OLBC’s justice reform action agenda is attached.