From fight on Issue 1 to curtailing voting rights in Ohio, Frank LaRose fears accountability
Ohio Families United demand access to the democratic process
COLUMBUS—OFUPAC, a statewide organization of families directly impacted by police violence, is finding the recent victory over Issue 1 hard to celebrate.
“We are disgusted by the recent assault on Ohio communities perpetuated by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who has used police violence to further his extremist agenda,” said OFUPAC Executive Director Emily Cole. “Secretary LaRose found cause to scapegoat a wide range of issues Ohioans are concerned with during his attempt to curtail voting rights, access to citizen-initiated ballot issues, and other signals of the end of democracy in Ohio.”
Frank LaRose was comfortable allowing one out-of-state billionaire to take a run at our constitutional rights, more comfortable than he is with the addition of citizen-initiated issues to the state ballot. During his defense of the anti-democratic Issue 1, LaRose blamed abortion, expanded access to medical marijuana, and public safety issues. He also found cause to blame citizen-initiated efforts to overturn qualified immunity, the legal principle that allows murdering cops to continue serving as police officers. This fearmongering failed to pull the wool over voters’ eyes, and for this, we are grateful.
“If police officers were doing their job correctly then they wouldn’t have anything to worry about,” said Ohio Families Unite Against Police Brutality Vice Chair Adrienne Hood. Ms. Hood’s family was directly impacted by police violence in 2016 when her son Henry Green V was murdered by two Columbus police officers.
“Accountability starts from the high courts all the way down to our local prosecutors and judges. Their way of thinking stagnates our growth as a whole,” shared Dytania Hudson, mother of Johnny L Bell III and Daunte L Bell. Ms. Hudson’s son Johnny was killed by gun violence in 2009, and her son Daunte was killed by Columbus police in 2015. “We can’t heal without accountability. It is okay not to agree on the ‘how’, but not to be held accountable anywhere is a slap in the face to everyone in our communities. There are no repercussions when officers act wrong. We want people held accountable for their actions. When will our elected officials really step up and work with us to end the violence?”
“For many of us, in the face of a gerrymandered legislature hell-bent on protecting their power rather than serving Ohioans, citizen-initiated constitutional amendments are our only recourse to allow the people of Ohio the right to shape our future,” said Emily Cole. “Contrary to LaRose’s fearmongering, we know accountability is a good thing. Every Ohio family deserves to feel safe in their home, on their block, and in their community, and Ohio’s families understand that qualified immunity makes them less safe.”
OFUPAC and the directly impacted families who are part of the organization are tired of LaRose and other extremist politicians using the pain of racism, murder, and poverty to argue for the militarization of police and zero accountability in public safety.
Together, we can build an Ohio where we are all safe to thrive.