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State Lawmakers Propose Changes To Criminal Justice Laws, Plead For Calm After Brelo Verdict

A Cleveland police vehicle. An officer is accused in the shooting death of two unarmed people in 2012.
Raymond Wambsgans
/
Flickr/Creative Commons

African American state lawmakers say they want changes in criminal justice laws, and they say they’re hoping those changes can begin before a verdict comes out in a controversial case from Cleveland.

Police officer Michael Brelo is accused of firing the final shots, killing two unarmed people after a 2012 police chase involving dozens of officers and hundreds of shots.

Democratic Rep. Alicia Reece of Cincinnati leads the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, which she says is pleading for calm when that decision comes out.

“At the same time as we’re asking people to be peaceful, we’re also asking them to trust the system,” said Reece. “And the way that we can keep our end of the deal is that they know that we are taking action.”

The lawmakers are proposing laws requiring bright colors on non-lethal guns, independent prosecutors in high-profile cases, body cameras for cops, and preliminary hearings instead of grand juries.