OLBC Pres. Alicia Reece Urges DeWine To Release John Crawford Tapes
Joins Civil Rights groups in calls for transparency
August 29, 2014
 
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Ohio State Representative and Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) sent a letter to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine yesterday urging him to release Walmart surveillance video in the recent fatal shooting of 21-year-old John Crawford.


“As a State Representative, elected President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus and an ordinary citizen, I am deeply concerned that information has not been released within a time-frame that inspires confidence -- particularly within the African-American community,” said Rep. Reece.


In light of the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, Rep. Reece stated in her letter to DeWine that the investigation should be open and transparent, to inspire confidence in our justice system.


Rep. Reece joins with clergy, NAACP and the National Action Network to call for openness in this process.


Rep. Reece’s letter to AG DeWine is below.


August 28, 2014


Dear Attorney General Mike DeWine,


I write to you today in response to the recent fatal shooting of 21-year-old John Crawford, III and the subsequent lack of transparency in the release of information about the shooting. As a State Representative, elected President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, and an ordinary citizen, I am deeply concerned that information has not been released within a time-frame that inspires confidence -- particularly within the African-American community.  To be blunt, there is no reasonable reason that a copy of surveillance video(s) and communications between the store and officers shouldn't be released.


While every shooting involving law enforcement is unique, we have been reminded in overwhelming fashion by the events transpiring in Ferguson, MO that there are too many of these shootings involve young, African-American men being shot. But the frequency in which these shootings occur does not mean these matters should be considered ordinary or routine, and certainly expected. To the contrary, these events must be treated with the utmost care, with transparency and fairness to the victims.  


During my time as Vice Mayor of Cincinnati, I dealt with a similar situation when 19-year-old Timothy Thomas was shot and killed by a Cincinnati Police officer. While Cincinnati now has one of the models for better police community relations, lessons from that tragedy and those that we are witnessing in real time can only lead to one conclusion -- transparency and early release of information is the only way to keep confidence in the process.  Moreover, we can think of no reason that release of this information would compromise anyone or anything for purposes of your office's investigation.


As long as our local, city, and state officials use outdated strategies of dealing with people and the common methods of delay, there will be no confidence that justice is being served.  Thank you in advance for your timely consideration of this request. I hope you keep in mind the voices of the families and communities that are affected by this tragedy.


Sincerely, 


Alicia Reece


Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, President

 
 
 
  
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