The Cleveland Community Police Commission’s (CPC) committees established new working groups. Commissioner Teri Wang highlighted the Brady/Giglio working group, which will be creating a database of officers that have “Giglio material,” or material that could potentially impeach their character as a witness in a criminal case. She said that community members are welcome to participate in the work. Other working groups created include:
- Surveillance technology (Police Policy Committee)
- Behavioral health crisis intervention (Police Policy Committee)
- Discipline (Police Accountability Committee)
- Gender violence and sexual misconduct (Police Accountability Committee)
- Annual survey on police community interaction (Police Community Outreach Committee)
Community members sought insight into how police address different kinds of calls. One woman shared the story of her family member’s struggle to get the police to handle a domestic violence situation. She said her family member was threatened and kidnapped. She said that when she went to the district headquarters to request that someone pick up the perpetrator, an officer told her they were short staffed. She questioned whether the police take Black women seriously when they report domestic violence.
Cleveland Police Lieutenant Michael Chapman told her that understaffing is the reality for the police force right now. But Deputy Chief Sammy Morris added that understaffing should not be a concern in this situation because there is a separate domestic violence unit.
Larry Patterson and Bernita Thomas both used their comments to address their fellow community members rather than the commission members. Patterson urged attendees to start involving youth from the community in these spaces. “If you do not bring the youth here that have the reach, authority, power, and pressure you need to make the change, then it’s going to go in one ear and out the other,” said Patterson.
Thomas said she is the co-chair of the Fourth District’s District Policing Committee (DPC). Shalenah Williams, the CPC community engagement coordinator, had previously explained that DPCs are part of implementing the city’s community and problem-oriented policing plan. Thomas said she doesn’t see many people from her ward at the meetings. She told the other people in the room to follow Patterson’s advice and bring young people to the meetings.
Wang said that the Rules Committee will be looking at the process of hiring independent legal counsel if there is a conflict of interest with hiring a city-employed attorney for the commission. This includes looking into what authority the commission has to hire an independent attorney.