We boil down what happened in Cleveland this week.
Billboards call on Republicans to address police violence
He was a child playing at the park.”
Messages like this, seen on billboards in and near downtown, will be up throughout the weekend. This particular billboard message is recalling Tamir Rice’s story. Rice was a 12-year-old Cleveland boy who was shot by Cleveland police after neighbors suspected he was holding a gun, which was later confirmed to be a toy gun.
These billboards are sponsored by Color of Change, a national African American political organization. Color of Change’s mission, as stated on their website, is to initiate a positive social change for black Americans and anyone who is neglected. #BlackAugust is a reference to black political activism, a phrase that traces back to an incident in the 1970’s.
The messages on the billboards call on the Republican party, especially because the party’s first national debate was held at the Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday, August 6. These billboards are pushing for a discussion among the Republican party on social justice for black Americans and police violence.
Cleveland creates new protocol for mass arrests
In light of the GOP debate and the demonstrations that occurred this year calling out Cleveland police violence, the city has issued a new protocol on how police should handle protesters.
The protocol requires officers to place a sticker on protesters that records the time of their arrest and to take them immediately to the processing center. This process was created after the city was sued for locking up demonstrators rather than admitting them to court processes, even though judges and public defenders were available.
The city also bought “protest insurance” that covers costs caused during protests, including costs that arise if law officials are accused of misconduct.
Ohio bill allows businesses to deny services to LGBT individuals
The recently introduced Ohio House Bill 296 would allow businesses to refuse service to LGBT individuals in accordance with their “religious or conscientious objections”, said Republican Ron Young to the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
Lisa Wurm of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio called this a “step backward” for LGBT Ohioans, since this bill seems to rule out anti-discrimination laws.
There’s been an uproar due to the fact this bill is similar to the one passed in Indiana earlier this year. Indiana lawmakers passed a religious bill that allowed businesses to disallow services to LGBT individuals. The law was quickly altered after Indiana businesses threatened to move out of state.