Cuyahoga County

Prosecutor offers suggestions to legislators on police use of deadly force cases

1/28/2016

Cleveland – The following letter was sent today by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty to all members of the Ohio General Assembly:

             “Ohio’s Attorney General currently has statutory authority to bring organized crime cases directly to a Grand Jury in Ohio, pursuant to RC 309.08, 177.03, and 109.83. I support a law amending these statutes to include the ability of the Attorney General to present police use of deadly force (UDF) cases to a Grand Jury if the local county prosecutor requests such assistance from the Attorney General, or, if the local county prosecutor declines to present and the Attorney General, after thorough review, believes a Grand Jury investigation is necessary.

             “This statutory amendment would give the Attorney General statewide overview responsibility regarding UDF cases to assure consistent, high-quality investigations and to increase public confidence. 

             “In addition, I would ask the General Assembly to enact a law requiring that an independent police agency conduct all UDF investigations, whether that agency is another police department, the county sheriff, or the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations — a matter to be determined by local officials. For example, the City of Cleveland Division of Police has already agreed to have the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department conduct investigations in cases involving lethal use of deadly force by its officers.  Use of an independent police agency is a best practice being used in other states that also increases the quality of results and raises public confidence.

 “Thank you for your consideration.”

Contact: Joseph Frolik, Director of Communications and Public Policy. Phone: 216.443.7488 or
Email: jfrolik@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us