OHIO, USA — Since the passing of Number 24, who established the Cleveland Community Police Commission, its meetings have focused primarily on issues related to staffing and protocol. On the other hand, a commissioner and a community activist came face to face in a heated verbal exchange during a June 14 meeting.
We approved a process that would be open and public, allowing members of the ward and beyond to voice their opinions on the next CEO. Alana Garrett-Ferguson remarked, “I think we have a commission for a reason, and when we look at how well we are able to do our job, we also have to make sure that we do a fair assessment of all of our staff. . “We want to make sure the future of police reform in our city is brighter in terms of accountability and real community support. We cannot afford to be in the pockets of these four families, who do not represent the 300,000 people who live in this city.
Longtime Cleveland activist Brenda Bickerstaff, who was sitting in the gallery, got up and started yelling at Garrett-Ferguson. After witnessing the 2002 police shooting of her brother in Cleveland, Bickerstaff became a vocal advocate for police reform in the city. Bickerstaff warned Garrett-Ferguson, “You better watch what you say,” before the commissioner turned to address her. Commissioners and people from the community intervened to keep the two separated.
The City of Cleveland, which controls the video feed, moved to a generic slate with meeting details. The match resumed 15 minutes later. After some time, Bickerstaff spoke during the commission’s public comment time. I tell you now that I will consult a lawyer. We’re in the pocket is a derogatory expression, and I can sue you for using it. It is against the law to use such language. She then told Garrett-Ferguson that the terms were “corrupt terms” and demanded his removal. After further bickering, the two broke off their meeting. Voters in Cleveland, Ohio approved Number 24 in 2021, establishing the Community Policing Commission to oversee the city’s police force. The mayor appoints ten of the thirteen members and the Cleveland City Council appoints the remaining three.