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Rep. Reece pushes for more transparency in officer-involved death investigations

Bipartisan legislation will require written policies, public investigatory reports
October 23, 2015
Democrat Newsroom

State Rep. and President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) joined with Republican Rep. Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) this week to introduce House Bill 380, legislation to create a more transparent investigative process with deaths that result from a law enforcement officer’s use of a firearm.

“Perceptions of injustice following an officer-involved shooting death – whether substantiated or not – can further erode a communities’ trust in the criminal justice system,” said Reece. “By requiring full disclosure and transparency, we can ensure honesty in the investigative process. This bill is a positive step in the right direction that will allow the public to get the answers and information they deserve.”

Based on legislation recently passed in Wisconsin, as well as recommendations from the Ohio Task Force on Community Police Relations, House Bill 380 requires law enforcement agencies to develop policies in writing regarding the investigation of firearms-related deaths involving officers.

Additionally, the legislation requires an unbiased investigatory panel to issue a report of its findings to the local prosecutor’s office. Should the prosecutor decline to press charges, the report will then be released to the public within 72 hours.