Ohio

What to do here

Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!

Be sure to check out the Next Steps at the bottom of the page. Go to the References/Further Reading page to see our sources and do some research of your own.

Last updated March 5, 2020

Summary

Key:

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Legislation Achieved

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Some Progress

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No Progress

Demilitarization

Learn about demilitarization and the specific issues below on the Demilitarization page (opens in a new window).

 

No knock warrants

No Progress:

Ohio has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants.

1033 purchases

No Progress:

Ohio has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments. HB721 would have prohibited state and local law enforcement agencies from receiving or purchasing drones, aircraft, grenades, silencers, and weaponized armored vehicles. The bill died in committee.

Military style training

Some Progress:

Ohio State Highway Patrol officers are able to receive Blue Courage training, and their state training includes sections on Human Diversity and Human Behavior. However, no state mandate exists to require this training of all police officers in the State of Ohio.

SWAT data

No Progress:

Ohio has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.

For Profit Policing

Learn about for profit policing and the specific issues below on the For Profit Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Civil asset forfeiture

Some Progress:

In 2017, the Ohio legislature passed HB 347, which raised the burden of proof for police to use civil asset forfeiture. But it did not prohibit initial seizures of cash or property under $15,000, and police often would win long, drawn out suits that seek to enforce this law.

Quotas

No Progress:

Ohio has not yet enacted a law ending quotas for low-level arrests. HB 713, introduced in 2020, would have prohibited law enforcement from using arrest and citation quotas. The bill died in committee.

Cost of misconduct

No Progress:

Ohio has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.

Broken Windows Policing

Learn about broken windows policing and the specific issues below on the Broken Windows Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Minor offenses

Some Progress:

In July 2020, the Senate passed SB3--further decriminalizing marijuana possession and lowering the charges from felony to misdemeanor for possession of several other drugs.

Objective justification for stops

No Progress:

Ohio has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description). Legislators in July 2020 introduced HB 706 to prohibit police officers from engaging in biased policing and other status-based profiling. The bill died in committee.

Reporting stop details

No Progress:

Ohio has not yet enacted a law requiring comprehensive reporting of police stops (noting location, race, gender, whether force was used and whether a firearm was found).

Accountability

Learn about accountability and the specific issues below on the Accountability page (opens in a new window).

 

Reckless civil rights violation

No Progress:

Ohio has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights.

Independent investigation

No Progress:

Ohio has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct.

Qualified immunity

No Progress:

Ohio has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity. The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police vice president Jason Pappas said in June of 2020 that he is open to reform but that eliminating qualified immunity is a “non-starter.”

Reinvesting in Communities

Learn about reinvesting in communities and the specific issues below on the Reinvesting in Communities page (opens in a new window).

 

Mental health response

Some Progress:

Officers receive Crisis Intervention Training in every one of the state's 88 counties. However, this program still involves sending law enforcement officials, not mental health professionals, to mental health crises.

Education, Housing, Community Health Resources

No Progress:

It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.

Next Steps

No matter what, register to vote:

Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:

To keep these policies at the forefront:

Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).

To ask for more than this:

Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.

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