Community groups rally behind law professor who says she was forced out of Cleveland Police Monitoring Team

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 7:28 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Community members took to the steps of City Hall voicing their concerns over the resignation of Case Western Law Professor Ayesha Bell-Hardaway from the Cleveland Police Monitoring Team.

“We will not stand idly by and watch Hassan Aden attack one of the most competent members of our community,” said Danielle Sydnor, President, NAACP Cleveland.

The monitoring team was put in place after the U.S. Department of Justice found officers often engaged in excessive force.

Bell-Hardaway joined the monitoring team and 2015. Her role was to recommend changes to policies within the police department.

Let’s fast forward to last week when the dispute popped up.

Bell-Hardaway claimed she was forced to resign from her position after she made critical statements about police reform in a radio show interview.

She says opponents questioned how she could be objective in her role on the monitoring team.

On the other hand, her supporters say the comments are exactly why she was hired in the first place.

“The monitor was not put in place to be a friend of the Cleveland Police Department,” said Brandon Brown, Vice President, Norman S. Minor Association.

Members of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association, Cleveland branches of NAACP, and Black Lives Matter are calling for Bell-Hardaway to be reinstated immediately.

“Ayesha Bell-Hardaway is the only person that has been a continuous expert relative to the Cleveland Police Consent Decree,” said Sydnor.

Not only do they want her to get her job back, but they also want the monitoring team’s chief, Hassan Aden, to resign.

“While Aden comes with more than 20 years in Law enforcement, he lacks other qualifications to serve as lead monitor,” said Brown.

Now, these groups are hoping their concerns don’t get ignored, for the sake of all Clevelanders.

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