© 2022 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Families Gather In Downtown Dayton To Protest Police Violence

People who lost family members to police violence rallied in downtown Dayton on Sunday.
Chris Welter
People who lost family members to police violence rallied in downtown Dayton on Sunday.

Organizers say police 'qualified immunity' must end

A group of Ohio mothers who lost loved ones to police violence took center stage at a rally in Dayton on Saturday.

Wearing red and carrying pictures of their late sons, the women spoke to a crowd of over 100 people.

The rally at the courthouse square in downtown Dayton was organized by Ohio Families Unite Against Police Brutality. Organizers came from cities all over the state, including Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. It was the first in a series of demonstrations aimed at reopening cases of police violence.

Cynthia Brown is the founder of the Ohio Heartbeat Movement, which pushes for more police transparency. Her nephew, Kareem Jones, was killed by two Columbus police officers in 2017. Those officers were cleared of wrongdoing.

“What I want to say is all across America, states are passing laws to end qualified immunity. That is the only way that you're ever going to hold officers accountable," she said. "Officers could no longer say ‘Oh, I fear for my life. I thought he had a weapon.’”

Brown is leading a ballot initiative to abolish qualified immunity in the state of Ohio.

Mawa Iqbal is a reporter for WYSO. Before coming to WYSO, she interned at Kansas City PBS's digital magazine, Flatland. There, her reporting focused on higher education and immigrant communities in the Kansas City area. She studied radio journalism at Mizzou, where she also worked for their local NPR-affiliate station as a reporter.