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Cincinnati hearing on community-police relations "most intense" in state

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Ann Thompson
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WVXU
The Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations held its fourth and final public forum in Cincinnati Monday night.

A panel charged with improving community-police relations following two high-profile shootings will soon start preparing recommendations for Governor John Kasich. The fourth and final hearing was held Monday night in Cincinnati

Marjorie Mosely, outspoken during the 2001 riots in Cincinnati, was of the last 48 speakers to give the two dozen panel members and the public a piece of her mind. She says it will take a long time to rid the world of racism. "We deserve better in the 21st century. (W.E.B.) Du Bois, Dr. Carter G. Woodson are turning in their grave because we're still dealing with the racism that permeates our society."

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Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
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WVXU
John Crawford II described the hurt he still feels after his son was "murdered" by Beavercreek Police inside a Walmart.

John Crawford II has a vested interest. His son was gunned down at the Beavercreek Walmart. He told the  panel "It's not about black and white. It's about right and wrong."

Some took their frustrations out on the panel itself, including Vanisa Siler of the Ohio Student Association. She questioned whether the task force would do anything. "I have more faith in the police than I do our legislators, our prosecutors and our district attorneys. At least when I call 9-1-1 they will come."

Co-chair Nina Turner said wait a minute. She asked for this task force to be formed. She said she would not sit by and be insulted. She said, "This is the first task force of its kind. We should be proud of that."

Turner says this is going to be a very action oriented task force. She says everybody is sitting here traveling the state because they want action. At the heart of the five hour meeting there were about 150 people. Near the end the numbers dwindled and that bothered Tonya Hart, one of the speakers. She criticized the law enforcement who left.

The suggestions people gave included:

  • More transparency
  • Hold community events with African American youth and police
  • Require stress-reduction training for police and the community
  • Mentoring
  • Have better Taser training
  • Completely restructure the criminal justice system
  • Show respect on both sides
  • Require police to live in the communities they patrol

Co-Chair Turner said the task force is just one way to make change. It's not the only way. She called the Cincinnati meeting, "the most intense in the state." The panel will deliver its recommendations to the Governor by April 30th. 

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.