Despite voters from Cleveland’s mostly Black East Side supporting a ballot initiative to create one of the most powerful civilian police oversight boards in the country, the police patrolman’s union pledged to sue to block the commission, reports Emmanuel Felton for the Washington Post.
The situation raises the question of whether the city’s mostly Black and Brown residents have any control over how they are policed or if that power still resides in its largely White force. Jeff Follmer, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, has still refused to rule out further efforts to block civilian control. Cleveland has paid out nearly $40 million in settlements in police misconduct cases over 10 years, one of the largest sums in the country. The proposed Cleveland board would include people who have either directly experienced police violence or are the family member of a person who was killed by the police.