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Police oversight ballot measure approved; union promises to fight it

Issue 24 passed with nearly 60% of the vote
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 10:27 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2021 at 7:09 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland voters supported Issue 24, a proposed amendment that would change how the city’s police department operates with a civilian-led board, Tuesday.

Nearly 60% approved of the measure with 97.9% of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

The election, which also seated the first new mayor in the city since 2006, was marked by low turnout.

Less than 26% of registered voters cast a ballot, according to the preliminary board of election figures.

The ballot issue was inextricably tied to the city’s mayoral race.

Justin Bibb, who won nearly 63% of the vote, supported the ballot measure. His opponent, City Council President Kevin Kelley, was against it.

The city’s police union who was strongly against the ballot measure promised to fight its implementation.

“It’s so disappointing that the majority of the voters fed into a vengeful group,” said Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association union. “This charter passing will be the downfall of Cleveland. Our contract will override this charter amendment. Look forward to beating this in court.”

Issue 24 puts the final decision on police policies, and the discipline of officers, in the hands of a civilian-led board and commission.

Members of the commission would be appointed by the mayor and city council.

Members would need to represent a variety of interests in the city and have to be part of a civil rights organization, police organization.

Being a victim or having a family member who has been a victim of police violence is also a qualifier.

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