Demands Set Forth by New Abolitionist Association on Steps of City Hall Last Night

Major Emphasis Placed on Police Department's Body Cameras

click to enlarge Protesters congregate outside City Hall on Dec. 1. - ERIC SANDY / SCENE
Protesters congregate outside City Hall on Dec. 1.
Amid cold winds, several groups of active protesters converged on the steps of City Hall last night. Prior to the City Council meeting, the New Abolitionist Association of Ohio laid out four demands:

  • "Immediate dismissal" of Public Safety Director Michael McGrath and the indictment of Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, as well as indictment of the officers involved with the death of Tanesha Anderson.
  • Full institution of the police department's forthcoming body camera program by Jan. 25, 2015.
  • The abolition of the internal Cleveland Police Department investigations process and the current Civilian Review Board, which would be replaced by a "democratically elected" Civilian Review Board. "All complaints filed in relation to police actions will be directly handled by the Civilian Review Board," the group wrote.
  • Bring all data generated by the body cameras under the jurisdiction of the new Civilian Review Board.

Darren Dissell, speaking on behalf of the New Abolitionist Association, first announced the demands last night, signalling a more concrete avenue for protesters' energy and aims. 

"There is no time to try," he said. "This is step one. If our demands are not met, we will continue to be out here and we will show non-cooperation to City Hall and to the police department, to the mayor's administration and to anyone else who seeks to get in our way and stand in the way of justice."

Some of the group moved into City Council chambers to further elaborate on the demands. They were in turn escorted out by police officers.