COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A task force recommendation that Ohio’s attorney general be given exclusive authority to investigate cases involving police use of lethal force is drawing opposition from a prosecutors association and others.
A task force studying ways to improve Ohio’s grand jury system has recommended that county prosecutors be stripped of their power to investigate and prosecute fatal use of force by police officers.
The task force was appointed by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor.
“We’re not casting any aspersions on the individual prosecutors, but the perception from the community is real that the prosecutors would have some difficulty going after an officer and an agency that they work with on a daily basis,” said Franklin County judge Stephen McIntosh, chairman of the task force.
The report suggests that would increase public confidence because the state Attorney General’s Office doesn’t have the close working relationships that local prosecutors have with officers who could be subjects of investigations.
But John Murphy, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, told The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/29IpnBo ) local prosecutors are “perfectly capable” of dealing with those cases.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said his office doesn’t need the added responsibility and that transferring fatal police shooting cases to his office would not eliminate second guessing.
“Is this going to make everyone happy? No. I’m not sure it would end the problem or controversies,” he said.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com