COLUMBUS, Ohio — During his impromptu Wednesday afternoon press conference, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine addressed the future of police "accountability and transparency" in the Buckeye State, including several measures and bills that could soon become law.
"We’ve taken several executive actions here in Ohio related to police reform," DeWine said. "Last year, I ordered all cabinet agencies with sworn law enforcement officers to ban the use of chokeholds unless deadly force would otherwise be authorized."
DeWine also discussed the recent decision to purchase body cameras for all Ohio State Highway Patrol officers, as well as a $10 million proposal in the Ohio General Assembly to help local police departments purchase body cameras for further clarity between officers and the public.
The conversation also came with discussions of a new bill soon to be presented in the Ohio House of Representatives that was developed by Ohio Rep. Phil Plummer, with help from the Ohio Attorney General's Office, the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association. DeWine said the group also spoke with civil rights leaders/activists to form the new legislation.
"This bill will establish a peace officer oversight board similar to the state oversight boards in other professions (doctors, nurses, lawyers, etc.) that have the ability to suspend licenses. It's time we do this in law enforcement," DeWine said on Twitter.
"The bill will also establish a use of force database so that the approx. 1,000 law enforcement agencies in Ohio would all report incidents of force to a central database," DeWine elaborated. "It will also establish an officer discipline database to ensure transparency."
The Ohio Governor also said that, if passed, the legislation would require independent investigations into police incidents.
No date has been announced for when the bill could formally be introduced.
Less than 24 hours previous to DeWine's press briefing, a Columbus Division of Police officer shot and killed a 16-year-old girl in Franklin County, a case that has sparked national outrage.
DeWine called the incident "tragic" and said that "losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to you."
The Governor also said of the shooting, "we need to let the investigation play out."
You can watch the full press conference featuring Gov. DeWine in the player below: