Groups want Mayor Jackson to reveal RNC security purchases

Published: Mar. 22, 2016 at 2:18 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2016 at 5:43 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland Police Department is gearing up for the RNC and Mayor Frank Jackson's Office is making it clear that they aren't going to reveal every piece of riot or security gear they are purchasing with a $50 million grant from the federal government.

Jacqueline Greene of the National Lawyers Guild says, "The public has been deprived of the opportunity to have effective oversight and transparency of the militarization of our police force."

Monday night a group representing several national and Cleveland community groups gathered on the front steps of City Hall to ask City Council to pass a resolution to reveal what the city plans to purchase.

Bikes, riot gear, batons and fencing are posted up on the City websites and are out for bid but some groups want specialized weapons and surveillance gear listed too.

"We can't just stand by and trust they will do the right thing. If they did the right thing then Tamir wouldn't be dead," said Michael Nelson of the Cleveland Chapter of the NAACP.

The city has yet to provide the Cleveland Community Police Commission any info on the potential purchases and many here say that's a violation of the Consent Degree signed with the Department of Justice.

The city says it's not because the riot gear will be used for the RNC and not to protect Cleveland residents.

Julia Shearson of the Cleveland Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Ohio says, "I think it's unacceptable to protect a private political party and leave the people of this city out of this decision."

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