OSA joined with Tamir Rice's cousin and hundreds of Cleveland community activists on Saturday to demand justice for the 12 eyar old child who was killed by police at a recreation center in his neighborhood. A symbolic funeral was held at a park in West Cleveland and the group marched through the streets of West Park to the home of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGuinty to demand action be taken to hold police accountable. In spite of white nationalist groups attempts to intimidate protestors, people of all races, ages, sexualities, genders and faiths gathered to demand that McGuinty do more to make sure that police cannot kill with impunity.
This action took place just hours after the Brelo Verdict was read, finding the officer who stood on the hood of the car and unloaded his weapon into the car where an unarmed Black couple sat. In total, 137 shots were fired by dozens of police officers into the car of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.
There is a fundamental flaw in the criminal justice system, when prosecutors have no accountability when they fail to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Prosecutors such as McGuinty rely on police officers to win cases every single day, and so often fail to put forth a winning case against police officers in situations of police brutality.
The efforts of our current Governor Kasich and Attorney General Mike Dewine are superficial bandaids to this structural conflict of interest. This is why we need a fundamental shift in the power relationship between community and police in Ohio.