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Black Lawmakers Call For Calm, Changes Ahead Of Brelo Verdict

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A group of African-American state lawmakers wants changes in criminal justice laws. They hope the changes begin before a verdict comes out in the trial of a white Cleveland police officer charged in the deaths of two unarmed African-Americans. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Officer Michael Brelo is accused of firing the final shots that killed two unarmed people after a 2012 police chase involving dozens of officers and hundreds of shots. Democratic Rep. Alicia Reece of Cincinnati leads the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, which she says is pleading for calm when that decision comes out. “At the same time as we’re asking people to be peaceful, we’re also asking them to trust the system,” said Reece. “And the way that we can keep our end of the deal is that they know that we are taking action.”  
 
The lawmakers are proposing laws requiring bright colors on non-lethal guns, independent prosecutors in high-profile cases, body cameras for cops, and preliminary hearings instead of grand juries.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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